With Project Goldrush, we didn’t want to go to anyone else as FPC were the only ones who could have delivered it.

Johan Klopper Head of Projects Westland Milk Products

Project Duration

6 months duration

The challenge

“Westland Milk Products have a saying; “Here nature is in charge. She determines what we can do and when we can do it.” That statement summed up the challenge for FPC. Luckily, with decades of industrial experience, we make even the trickiest projects and harshest conditions look easy.

Westland Milk Product’s 1970s butter production facility was at capacity. The company’s single-churn machine needed constant maintenance and couldn’t keep up with product demand.

Annual global butter and spread sales are predicted to grow from a current estimated $US44 trillion to $US59 trillion by 2025. However the business had outgrown the existing machinery and equipment. A major upgrade was required to their operational facility. Westland saw the opportunity to double their output, and selected FPC as the construction partner to ensure the job was completed on time, on budget, and without interrupting operations through the notorious Westland Winter.

The solution

FPC constructed and refurbed Westland’s butter hall with up-to-the-minute machinery – replacing the existing single churn that was commissioned in 1978 with two German-built churns. All of this work was executed whilst the plant maintained operation and hygiene was of upmost importance at all times.

The team built a new packaging area, a new chiller that could hold 5 days worth of production, and a train load-out canopy so the product could be loaded completely under cover.

The existing 1970s building wasn’t up to code, so FPC completed earthquake strengthening along the way. Despite logistical challenges brought on by tough weather, COVID lockdowns and new staff testing requirements, the facility was up and running in time to start producing butter. Westland Milk Products is now the most advanced butter plant in the world, with the capacity to produce 100 tonnes each day – and even more growth planned for the future.

The value: Our knack for forward planning

FPC delivered a world leading facility for Westland Milk Products. The construction timeframe was tight and the supply of materials was becoming more and more constrained. On top of this road and flight closures over winter led to major delays in supply deliveries. But FPC had the foresight, and the project management skills, to place orders early, getting everything on-site well before it was needed.