Dear Craig

The Goldrush Project Control Group members have asked me to formally pass on our appreciation of the work you and your team have made in the construction and commissioning of the refrigeration system at Eltham. We’d like to recognise your outstanding contribution to the project.

You have demonstrated a proactive attitude to managing health and safety throughout the duration of the project. You strove to provide a safe environment for all involved with the project. We particularly appreciate the approach to continual develop and improve the Excel Health and Safety procedures.

You and your team have been resolute in ensuring that the workmanship and quality of the delivered Refrigeration plant is to the high Fonterra standards. We also acknowledge the input that the Excel subcontractors have had in delivering the project.

Craig, you have demonstrated a level of professionalism that sets the benchmark amongst the contractors we work with. The leadership you have provided has been exceptional, not just to the Excel employees, but to all contractors involved in the project.

Thank you again, and we look forward to working with you on future projects.


Project Director and Programme Manager – Goldrush

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Project Overview

The Goldrush project, named so after the yellow cheese produced in the slice on slice (SOS) and Individually wrapped slice (IWS) product lines. The total Eltham SOS/IWS expansion project was valued at $32 million.

The two new cheese production lines have doubled the site's previous annual sliced cheese production to almost 3.5 billion slices, or enough cheese each year to fill three and a half billion burgers, with the multinational burger chains being major customers.

Excel's work involved installation of ventilation systems capable of controlling temperature and humidity to within tight tolerances to meet the requirements of the new Hockland - Natec cheese production line machines.

The ventilation systems also had to achieve MPI and Food Safety Standards requirements in relation to air filtration, air changes and air movement. Plant location and serviceability had to take into account redline access requirements.

Each line (SOS & IWS) has separate supply systems delivering 100% fresh air at volumes of 10m3/sec and 6m3/sec respectively.

This volume of air needing to be temperature and humdity controlled 24/7/365. The cooling is provided via a piped minus 7deg/C glycol system to a number of coils, heating via piped hot water with steam injection to a number of coils.

Very little space existed for a new plantroom. The end result was a need for Excel to install large plant items as the structure was being built, this involved stripping and reassembling some indent plant items and building of site pump skids, etc to allow the installation to work. In an innovated move driven by the lack of space the plantroom structure was constructed from PIR panel in a complex array of chambers to not only house the plant but create delivery ducts. This was achieved through layed ceiling levels and hidden walls.

Safety was a major concern on the project, not just due to the fact we were working in an operational factory but the plantroom was constructed within 2 metres of an operational main trunk rail line. Meaning for several aspects of the installation work Excel had to work with Fonterra and Kiwirail to shut the rail line down.

This requirement also meant meticulous time & resource planning to work within rail shut windows.

"You and your team have been resolute in ensuring that the workmanship and quality of the delivered Refrigeration plant is to the high Fonterra standards."

- Project Director and Programme Manager - Goldrush

NZ Dairy

NZ Dairy



Cold Storage

Cold Storage



The benefits

Innovative staged approach to plant installation

Local experienced labour resource

Work flow planning within operational food production facility

Safety management, especially around worker fatigue and proximity to rail lines

Ability to quickly implement design changes driven by construction and existing factory limitations