30 August 2002

Technical hitch puts milk plant off target

UNITED Milks new Westbury plant has suffered a series of technical problems, which has put the project about two months behind schedule.

In a letter sent to shareholders on Fri, Aug 23, chairman Richard Ashworth said the plant had experienced technical reliability and breakdown problems, and did not reach its target of producing at 60% of capacity in July.

United Milk had planned to reach full capacity of 2.4m litres/day at the processing plant by October, but this target is also likely to be delayed by about two months, says chief executive, Don Morris.

"The commissioning process hasnt gone as well as we had hoped. It means were not going to be able to add the value to milk as wed envisaged, in the time frame wed envisaged."

However, Mr Morris says the commissioning problems have now been resolved, and he is confident that the 60% milestone will be reached in September. &#42