The last piece of machinery made at RCR Energy Dannevirke has left the building and turned heads on its way up the North Island to be shipped to Ireland.

The indirect air heater, which is used to power giant milk drying plants which make milk powder, needed three trucks to take its parts along State Highway 2 on Wednesday.

Two of its major parts weigh 35 tonnes each.

All 30 employees were told they would lose their jobs after last order was finished. The company was scheduled to close its doors on April 2.


The plant has been purchased by Windsor Engineering but will not continue to operate, with all of the employees offered employment by Windsor in Wellington.

New Zealand divisions of RCR had been in the dark about their futures since Australian parent company RCR Tomlinson went into voluntary administration late last year.

The part is being sent by road to Tauranga for shipping.

It is being sent to Dairy Gold which according to General Manager of Windsor Engineering Jonathan Watson it is the "Fonterra of Ireland".

"It is a serious bit of kit, with three trucks to carry it, it is one massive piece of machinery with the two major parts weighing 35 tonnes each," Watson said.

Watson said it wasn't practical to keep the Dannevirke plant open.

"We did offer all 30 employees roles down in Wellington but many didn't want to relocate so only a few filled the jobs down there," Watson said.

Watson said Windsor were able to find the majority of the rest of the employees jobs with other engineering companies in the Hawke's Bay region.


"Not all of them wanted to move we did manage to keep a lot of the workers in the regions with different companies that used to help fabricate parts for the former company which we can now resource different parts from."

Watson said it was important for the company to keep most of the workers in the region to then still benefit from their skills and fabrication work.

"The most important thing was to keep this group in the region, they are some of the most skilled fabricators in the North Island so it was vital to keep them in the Dannevirke region."