Culham Engineering has added another feather to its cap with the successful construction and transportation of a gigantic silo to a chemical plant down south.

A second silo is nearly completed at the Whangārei company's Hewlett St premises while another eight more will be built destined mainly for the Bay of Plenty.

Each silo is 12m high, up to 35 tonnes and takes between four and six weeks to build.

Culham Engineering managing director Rob Kirwan said the first stainless steel silo to be used for chemical storage was transported to Mt Maunganui on a barge this week.


"We've done tanks for clients as far down as Bluff. The biggest one we did was a few years ago for Ballance in Whangarei that was 36 metres high and weighed 400 tonnes," Kirwan said.

He said apart from silos, Culham Engineering has also completed major projects for various clients in Auckland such as a walkway bridge that has an ability to carry emergency service vehicles as well as main water lines.

The 49-metre bridge was made in three pieces and Kirwan said it was possibly the largest load by road to go over the Brynderwyn Hills.

"It all comes down to good planning and that's something we're always proud of at Culhams. It shows that Northland does have an ability, when it comes to engineering capability, to serve the national and international market equally well," he said.

Skills, a bit of hard work, and people willing to invest to keep the continuity going were what Northland's competitive marine engineering sector offered, he said.

Other big projects Culhams, with more than 500 employees, delivered includes steel work for the Commercial Bay and the Convention Centre in downtown Auckland.

Kirwan said the announcement of the $94m from the Provincial Growth Fund for rail would help many companies to further build on their capabilities.