A new $10 million investment in Mount Maunganui can create enough concrete to lay the foundations of 30 houses - in one day.
And it is the proximity to the new builds which led to Fletcher Building's Firth Industries officially opening the concrete manufacturing plant today. The certified ready-mix plant is expected to produce up to 900cu m of concrete per day and boost supply for the high-demand Bay of Plenty area.
Read more: Mount Maunganui industrial fire: Firth building in Tauranga was under demolition
• Fletcher Building company Winstone Wallboards relocation brings 100 jobs to Tauranga
• Regional economic confidence: Bay of Plenty most optimistic
Firth Industries general manager Cameron Lee told the Bay of Plenty Times proximity to the Port of Tauranga was not important as raw materials came from both Whangarei and the Waikato.
"The location is more around the proximity to Pāpāmoa and the residential house building movement that has happened down that end, but we are still close enough to Tauranga city where the more commercial market is.
"We just think that a town like this, with a port like this and a population growth like this, we know there will be a residential boom, then an infrastructure boom and a commercial boom in between that."
Fletcher Building chief executive of concrete Ian Jones said the investment was a commitment to local manufacturing and would enhance production capacity significantly.
"The new ready-mix plant is now operational and gives Firth increased production speeds and volume, compared with the previous plant.
"Meanwhile it has improved environmental controls and reduced energy consumption. It has a state-of-the-art mixer unit which ensures increased quality, consistency and speed."
Jones said water was recycled on-site with the capacity to store up to 150,000 litres for reuse and a state-of-the-art water management system cleans and controls the flow of water from the site protecting public stormwater networks.
"Waste management has been carefully planned to ensure the absolute minimum goes to landfill. Waste concrete will be separated into builders mix and wastewater will be repurposed for other uses.
"We are working towards zero waste to landfill where all waste is repurposed or recycled on-site," he said.
Dust from the site is also not a problem for locals in the area due to a completely contained site, he said.
The plant was officially opened by Tauranga MP Simon Bridges who believe it was a good investment that represents a real commitment to, and confidence in, the Bay of Plenty by Fletcher and Firth.
"That is particularly so when you consider Fletcher's has also about to start work on a significant wallboards facility."
The commitment and confidence were "really well" placed, said Bridges, who acknowledged the current Government's plans to put almost $1 billion towards Bay of Plenty and Waikato projects as part of the infrastructure package.
"The risk and the hard work that they have done to get to this is going to be a great benefit as everyone agrees we need to get building around Tauranga with more roads and houses."
Fletcher Building last week announced it will relocate its Auckland-based Winstone Wallboards manufacturing and distribution operation to Tauranga - a $400 million plasterboard manufacturing and distribution facility.
Keys facts about the plant:
• The site took 270 days to build, and used 2545cu m of concrete and 5000 concrete blocks
• It produces up to 100cu m of concrete per hour or 900cu m of concrete per day
• The state-of-the-art plant equipment was shipped to New Zealand from Italy in more than 20 containers
• Enhanced stormwater control and filter systems were installed to protect public networks
• Water is recycled on site and waste in recycled into other concrete products or used in construction projects