Tamahere site not expansion focus

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Icepak’s Tamahere site will not be the focus of further expansion, company chairman Jan J van Eden told the Waikato Times in February 2008.

A Waikato-based coolstore company is expecting to more than double the space of its latest Waharoa facility within 18 months.

Icepak Group completed a 120m x 45m coolstore on the old Waharoa Dairy Company site last June after a year of construction.

Icepak chairman Van Van Eden said the company planned to extend the $6.5 million Waharoa coolstore, made up of seven rooms, from its 8000 pallet capacity to 18,000 pallets possibly within the next 18 months.

Icepak was ranked 27th on Deloittes list of fastest-growing New Zealand companies in 2006 and expects to turn over $7.3 million this year.

The company was bought by Mr Van Eden in 1990 and has expanded from its original three-room coolstore and blast freezer in Tamahere to a capacity of 32,000 pallets in Tamahere, Wanganui, Otaki and Waharoa.

The company has 34 shareholders and is majority owned by Mr Van Eden and his family.

It stores mainly dairy products and fruit and vegetables.

Customers include Fonterra, Mars Petfood, Tatua Dairy Company, Open Country Cheese, Land Meats, Seeka Kiwifruit and Balle Bros Potatoes.

Mr Van Eden said that while Icepak would not be leaving Tamahere, the Waharoa facility would be the main focus of the company’s Waikato expansion.

Mr Van Eden conceded Icepak had “ongoing difficulties” with neighbours over plans to expand its Tamahere operation.

Recent resource consent applications to expand the Tamahere site had met opposition.

Mr Van Eden said Icepak had withdrawn the consent application while access issues were sorted out with Waikato District Council.

“We have reached the end of our development in Tamahere. We might put up a couple of rooms,” Mr Van Eden said.

Waharoa had been chosen because of its location, with growing dairy producer Open Country nearby, alongside an existing Fonterra store and access to nearby SH27.

Waharoa site manager Dave Kerr said the company was storing cheese from Fonterra’s Lichfield plant in the Waikato and Whareroa plant near Hawera in Taranaki.

The railhead at the Waharoa coolstore allowed cheese to be sent by train direct from the factory for storage before export.

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