Clover Queensburgh

Clover commissions revamped Queensburgh plant

Dairy producer Clover recently officially opened its expanded production and distribution facility in Queensburgh, Durban, a R171-m investment that’s part of Project Cielo Blu, the dairy company’s primary R350-m capital expenditure programme following its listing on the JSE in 2010. [Click pic to enlarge]

“Project Cielo Blu was the primary capital project identified to redress historical inefficiencies in the supply chain network,” said Clover chairman Werner Büchner.

“This project entailed the relocation of Clover’s production facilities closer to the milk source to improve efficiencies and reduce transport requirements and the expansion of a number of locations to accommodate the growing business, one of which was the Queensburgh facility.”

The Queensburgh expansion includes a new cold room and ambient warehouse. To build these, Clover had to move part of a small mountain, using low-impact explosives to blast away 55,000m² of rock. Büchner said a typical comment after the exercise was: “Who moved the mountain?”

The expansion would increase the plant’s chilled capacity by 47 percent and ambient capacity by 100 percent. The potential average volume throughput would be boosted to almost 1.5 million litres a day.

Through Clover’s milk collection facility in Ixopo in KwaZulu-Natal, the expanded Queensburgh facility would procure 290 000 litres of milk a day from about 52 local farmers. On a daily basis the facility produced about 500 000 litres of milk, juice, Super M and amasi fermented milk.

Chairman Büchner added: “The Queensburgh facility was a major element of our main capital expenditure programme over the past three years. I am confident the investments made in products and efficiencies give us a strong footing to retain our leading position in defined markets.”

He added that the additional products, new cold room and ambient warehouse added to the facility were already delivering benefits for Clover.

“We will continue to invest in value-adding expenditure programmes over the long term as we aim to mitigate rising input and transport costs.”

The Queensburgh site spans 63ha with a total area of building under roof measuring 32 571m2 and a total floor area of 46 673m2.

In addition to this development, Clover has launched a number of production-related projects. These include the installation and commissioning of the new extended shelf life plant, which produces fresh milk with 18 days’ shelf life, and the new ultra-pasteurised processing and aseptic filler which has helped produce ultra-pasteurised milk with an extended shelf life of 30 days.

“Introduction of fresh milk with a minimum 18-day shelf life and ultra-pasteurised milk with an extended shelf life of 30 days are industry firsts and reinforce Clover’s position as the market leader,” Büchner said.

He added that long-term investments were paramount to take Clover to the next level of growth and the group was confident the investment made since listing would deliver returns for years to come.

The site employed 1 824 people with 46 jobs created as a result of the distribution expansion and production projects.

Caption: Clover chairman Werner Büchner, and Clover CFO Jacques Botha at the Queensburgh opening.

Source: BDLive, Business Report