PROJECTS / Miraka milk processing plant expansion
Miraka is a milk processing company in Taupō owned predominantly by Māori trusts and incorporations. Their factory uses renewable geothermal energy from the Mokai geothermal field for both electricity and high pressure steam for its processing operations. This makes it unique, being the only milk processing plant in the world to run solely on renewable energy.
Miraka is the only milk processing plant in the world to run solely on renewable energy.
Miraka has capacity to process more than 250,000,000 litres of milk into speciality powders and UHT (Ultra-High Temperature) milk products every year. The factory at Mokai, consented in 2010, had reached capacity in terms of the volume of milk it was able to process. The company took a long term view regarding future expansion and came up with a plan for the factory site’s development.
How we helped
The factory expansion needed a resource consent from the Taupō District Council. We worked with the team at Miraka and put together a successful resource consent application to expand the factory to meet future milk processing requirements for the next 10-15 years. The company needed the consent to be flexibile to adapt to future processing needs and market demands. So we made sure the consent application was based on the greatest building bulk they might need. We wanted to to ensure their development could meet their current plans, and any maximum processing capacity they anticipated in the future.
The Miraka site was not large enough to accommodate the expansion. Fortunately, we could add a boundary adjustment component to the consent application.
Looking after the surrounding area too
We are serious about getting great outcomes for both our clients and the environment. An increase in milk production was probably going to mean an increase in local traffic, and an increased risk for contamination because the factory has chemicals stored in purpose-built areas on site (for example, plant cleaning supplies). We worked closely with a transportation engineer and a contaminated sites expert to ensure effects on the surrounding roading network were addressed, and that developing land with HAIL activities on it was clearly understood and any issues were addressed.
We really enjoyed the challenging task of making sure the resource consent recognised the future needs of Miraka's business, even though those future needs are unknown. The resource consent was granted, and ensures a great outcome for both the client and the environment.