18 Dec 2008

Reduction in wool scouring capacity considered

7:18 am on 18 December 2008

The Commerce Commission is considering a rationalisation proposal for the wool scouring industry which would reduce capacity by about a third.

Auckland businessman David Ferrier is seeking clearance for him and his company New Zealand Woolscourers to acquire the scouring and wool dumping assets of Godfrey Hirst NZ Ltd.

Godfrey Hirst operates scours at Clive near Napier and at Invercargill.

David Ferrier is also proposing to buy all the shares in Cavalier Wool Holdings which runs scours at Napier and near Timaru.

The plan is then to close Godfrey Hirst's Invercargill scour and reduce its Clive operation to one line.

That would leave four full-scale scouring plants to clean the wool from New Zealand's declining sheep population - the two Cavalier plants and two run by Wool Services International near Hastings and Christchurch.

Wool Services International says it will also take part in the rationalisation process by buying some scouring equipment from the Godrey Hirst operation.