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Fonterra Takanini

Delivering the right result under pressure

Milk truck pulling into Fonterra plant in Takanini


Steam, hot water and high temperatures mean a boiler must cope with significant physical stress in everyday use. When it shows signs of failing, as the boiler did at Fonterra’s Takanini site, there’s a different sort of pressure – the need to replace it without disruption.

After many years of service, Fonterra’s old hot water boiler had developed some cracks. These were repaired but the time came when the system was deemed unacceptable for long-term use. It passed a safety inspection but the inspector issued a safety certificate for just three months. The message was clear: replace this boiler now.

Out with the old, in with the new

Fonterra’s maintenance department commissioned Tubman Heating to supply and install a new boiler. The contract was fulfilled with a new boiler suitable for firing on natural gas. This would need to be connected to the existing burner, gas train, electrical panel and safety valves. There was also the requirement to install a 14-metre high chimney and ensure the entire structure was securely mounted.

Toby Prader, Fonterra’s Project Manager, was impressed by Tubman Heating’s expertise. “They knew what to do and they did it,” he says. “Even when we had to change the install plan, the Tubman Heating guys co-operated and worked with us without hesitation.”

Changes were forced by the realisation that the existing plinth might not support the new boiler under the current seismic requirements. No problem – Tubman Heating adjusted the installation to suit the new location, including extension of the gas and hot water piping.

A stress-free transition

Working under Toby’s guidance, Tubman Heating delivered a working system to Fonterra’s requirements. Even allowing for some unexpected issues, the Tubman Heating team installed the new system within a tight time frame and ensured a seamless transition.

“Tubman Heating provided the solution we needed, in the time we needed it,” says Toby Prader. “We gave them a tight install and change-over window. They worked through the night and they delivered to plan.”