12 Oct 2011

Milk powder plant obtains resource consent

10:15 am on 12 October 2011

Waikato Regional Council has approved a resource application for a milk powder plant on the eastern side of Arapuni village in south Waikato.

ZOAGN, a dairy development group, applied three years ago for a range of consents related to discharges of air emissions and wastewater from the plant. Ngati Koroki Kahukura lodged an appeal, which has now has been resolved by an agreement on new consent wording.

The company will have to monitor the air emissions, wastewater, groundwater and soil quality around the plant, and provide regular monitoring reports to the regional council.

ZOAGN director Richard Stapel says the $100 million plant will produce a range of products, from whole milk powder to infant formula for export to China, Southeast Asia, Chile and Saudi Arabia.

It will need about 90 milk suppliers to support its operation.

Mr Stapel says discussions with potential investors in the plant were put on hold while the consents were being sought and those discussions can be resumed now approval has come through.

He would not be drawn on when construction would start, saying ZOAGN does not want to set a timeframe until the discussions with investors are concluded.

He says the original plan was to have the plant operating by August 2011 but that was too ambitious and the group has learnt from that.

Waikato Regional Council recently granted a resource consent for another milk-drying plant to be built near Tokoroa.