Ballance to invest in new plant and systems for Northland rural sector

Leading farm nutrient supplier Ballance Agri-Nutrients will be investing in its Northland presence over the next four years to improve services to Northland farmers and growers. The four-stage upgrade includes the demolition of its Port Road plant in Whangarei, along with the sale of another property and the opening of two new centres, one in Whangarei and the other in Marsden Point.

Demolition starts later this month and will be complete within six to eight months. A second stage of demolition will take place once the company has secured its new site in Whangarei, and site remediation will take place after that.

Mark Adams, Ballance’s Northland project lead, said the demolition was complex. Ensuring care, alongside environmentally-sound disposal of deteriorating building materials including asbestos, was key.

“Our Port Road plant is an aging and deteriorating building and is a familiar landmark to many in the Whangarei community,” he said. “Our focus is on completing the demolition safely and efficiently, while investing in new plant and equipment that will support our Northland farmers and growers.”

The company has appointed local contractors Waldron Construction to oversee the demolition project.

Ballance expects to be able to announce details about the location of its new site at Marsden Point “within a few weeks”. It will lease buildings from a developer.

It hopes to secure the location of its new Whangarei site by May.

Demand for Ballance’s product is seasonal, peaking in autumn and spring. Mr Adams said the company was managing this project carefully to ensure there was no disruption to supply, particularly over peak periods.

He said the new two-site strategy would boost customer service and accessibility, as well as product quality and reliability of supply.

Ballance will use its yet-to-be-built Whangarei site for product bagging and distribution to customers with good access to Whangarei. The Marsden Point site will become the central distribution hub for Northland, a bulk storage and transitional facility for product coming directly from Northport, and a customer service centre.

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