Submitted by Fonterra

The world's largest milk powder dryer at Fonterra's Darfield, New Zealand site kicked into gear last week producing its first batches of whole milk powder which will be exported to more than 20 markets worldwide including the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia.

Fonterra's Director Logistics Network, Robert Spurway, said at the peak of the season, the dryer will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will produce more than 700 metric tons - the equivalent of 45 shipping containers - each day.

"The demand for dairy nutrition around the world, especially for whole milk powder, is still strong. Dryer Two will ensure that Fonterra has the capacity to meet this demand and to process ongoing milk growth in Canterbury, the fastest growing dairy region in New Zealand," Spurway said.

"The new dryer will help the Co-operative meet the growing demand for dairy nutrition globally and will play an important role in Fonterra's strategy to optimize its New Zealand milk business. With Dryer Two now online at Darfield we are taking fresh milk, from farms within a 65-kilometer radius from the site, and have successfully completed our first production run of whole milk powder," he said.

The dryer's first production run marked the completion of Fonterra's $500 million dollar development of its Darfield site over the past three years.

"Seeing the second dryer up and running after Dryer One's successful first season of operation is testament to the Co-op's manufacturing capabilities," Spurway said.

Darfield key facts

  • Darfield's Dryer Two is the world's largest milk powder dryer.
  • The dryer has the capacity to produce up to 30 metric tons of whole milk powder per hour, and 700 metric tons per day.
  • Dryer Two produced 100 metric tons of whole milk powder during its first production run.
  • More than 1500 staff and contractors worked more than 700,000 man hours to deliver this world class milk processing facility.
  • Fresh milk is collected from Fonterra's farmer shareholders', within a 65km radius, delivered by tanker to Darfield, then processed into whole milk powder and packed into 25kg bags. These bags are then packed onto pallets, loaded into containers and delivered to port via the Darfield Rail Link for export to more 20 markets worldwide.