The installation of the vat – the first of a number to be installed – will help the Stanhope cheese plant produce around 45,000MT of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan cheese each year.
Site manager Jason Wright said the installation of the vat was a major milestone for the team and came almost two years to the day of the catastrophic fire that destroyed the old cheese plant in December 2014.
“Seeing the first of the vats go in has given the team a real boost, and lifted our spirits heading towards Christmas,” said Jason.
“The plant is taking shape before our eyes, and with the walls up, roof on, and first of the vats in place, we can see the project coming to fruition.”
The vat installation came during a busy month for Stanhope, with a number of visitors to the site from across the Fonterra business, including the global ingredients team, who are eagerly awaiting the plant’s completion so that they can service growing demand for cheese throughout Asia.
“The teams from China and Japan have a friendly rivalry over which team will receive the first shipment of Stanhope cheese for their market.
“As western diets become more popular in Asia, cheese demand has grown. The team here on site can’t wait to be able to help meet this demand by sending Stanhope cheese to the world when the plant is completed mid-2017.”