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Milk manufacturer awards McConnell Dowell construction contract

New Zealand milk manufacturer, Westland Milk Products (WMP), has awarded a contract to design and build a $26 million wastewater ocean outfall project.

New Zealand milk manufacturer, Westland Milk Products (WMP), has awarded a contract to design and build a $26 million wastewater ocean outfall project.

McConnell Dowell won the Package 2 contract for the facility at Hokitika, on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

A treated wastewater pipe will be taken underground from the Hokitika factory to a beach site behind dunes close to sewage ponds as part of the project.

From there, an outfall pipe will be driven underground, passing under the dunes and emerge underwater in the ocean.

Works will include 800 metres of new trenchless pipeline, installation of the onshore de-aeration chamber and a diffuser structure with twin diffuser manifold.

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The offshore pipeline is part of WMP’s plan to redirect waste flows from discharging into the Hokitika River to a more acceptable offshore location.

WMP Chief Executive, Toni Brendish, said that investment in the ocean outfall will help ensure the long-term sustainability of Westland’s operations in Hokitika and provide a more environmentally sustainable solution to the dairy company’s wastewater disposal needs.

“The final details are still to be confirmed,” she said. “However, joining Westland’s ocean outfall scheme will produce a substantial saving for the council compared with having to build its own outfall. This will save Hokitika ratepayers millions of dollars.”

Brendish said WMP has two concerns with the current Hokitika river discharge.

“One is that increased environmental awareness and our commitment to sustainable dairying means the river discharge is no longer desirable,” she said.

“We looked at a lot of options before deciding that the ocean outfall is the best solution. Wave action is continuous high energy and will break down, very rapidly, what is already a non-toxic treated discharge. No impact on the marine environment and ocean wildlife is expected.

“The other issue is that shingle build up over the years means the Hokitika River is now very much more unpredictable.”

McConnell Dowell Managing Director for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Fraser Wyllie, said the company looks forward to starting the project.

“McConnell Dowell has a strong track record of delivering award-winning marine projects and particularly ocean outfalls in New Zealand, which have greatly contributed to improving water quality in our harbours and waterways,” he says.

Construction will begin in January 2020 and is expected to be complete by January 2021.

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