New Tauranga Facility | Business

Tauriko Construction Update

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

The country may be in various levels of lockdown but it’s full steam ahead at Winstone Wallboards’ new Tauriko site.

Now eight months into the build, September saw the construction team pour the first floor slab of the mill and formulation tower – no easy task considering sections of the slab are up to a metre thick! The first lot of structural steel for the tower was also installed, marking a significant step in the development.

“The tower is where the plaster production process starts with gypsum being conveyed to the top of the tower from the bulk gypsum shed into a 500 ton silo,” explains Project Basalt Programme Lead Stewart Vaughan. Once completed, the tower will mark the highest point of the factory at 24.6 metres - or six storeys high - excluding exhaust stacks.

In spite of COVID-19 lockdowns and current global supply chain challenges Stewart says great progress is being made at the site.

“Approximately 130 – 140 construction workers and contractors are onsite each day now working across various zones. The first major sections of roof have been installed over the dryer corridor and adjoining area of the warehouse, providing undercover laydown areas for plant equipment supplier Gyptech when they commence installation of the first pieces of the plant late October/early November. This will mark another big milestone for the project.”

Most of the building structural steel work and pre-cast concrete panels for the bulk gypsum shed have also been erected and good headway has been made on the inground gypsum truck dump hopper.

Teamwork and cooperation have played a starring role in keeping timelines ontrack during such challenging times.

“It’s pleasing to see the collobaration between Winstone Wallboards, Fletcher Construction and its key subbies like Jensens, Higgins, Brian Perry Construction, and Fletcher REO. While having the client, Winstone Wallboards, interfacing with the subbies is not something typical on a construction site, it has helped resolve issues expediently and in a manner best for project.”

So what’s next in the development of New Zealand’s newest plasterboard manufacturing and distribution facility?

“Installation of the GIB® plasterboard plant equipment is about to kick off, starting with equipment in the tower and the plasterboard dryer.”