Alliance Group is to invest $3.2 million to further upgrade its Lorneville plant near Invercargill as it seeks to improve the operational efficiency of the co-operative’s largest site.
The plant’s Engine Room Two provides key refrigeration for four cold stores, some blast freezers and several product chillers at the plant, which in peak season employs almost 2,000 people.
Alliance will be investing in safety features in the engine room, upgrading equipment and the building structure. The programme will improve the company’s ability to control the refrigeration system remotely and provide a platform for further investment.
It will also give Alliance the opportunity to have more control points and sensors, improve the ability to provide automation control and result in significant savings through energy efficiency. The plant’s Engine Room One was upgraded in 2018.
David Surveyor, chief executive of Alliance Group, said the multi-million investment underlines Alliance’s commitment to Lorneville and to Southland.
“This is part of what has been a continual programme over the last five years to upgrade and invest in our facilities for the long-term benefit of farmers, employees and local communities.
“Alliance Group is Southland’s largest employer. With the current global environment, COVID-19 pandemic and pressures on the New Zealand economy, it is more important than ever that we continue to invest and build forward.”
The project is expected to be completed by spring 2021.
Meanwhile, Alliance Group’s $4 million project to reconfigure its venison processing plant at Lorneville so it can also process beef is being supported by a $2.8 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund.
“We welcome this investment from the Provincial Growth Fund,” said Mr Surveyor.
“The PGF support will enable Alliance Group to further accelerate our investment programmes to better meet the needs of farmers.
“As our supply volumes have continued to grow year on year, our farmers have been asking for more beef capacity in peak season.
“This means we will be able to make a meaningful difference for our farmers by processing some cull cows at Lorneville and free up our Mataura plant for prime steer, heifer and bull. The investment also demonstrates our commitment to the New Zealand deer industry because the reconfiguration will also boost our deer processing capacity.”