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McKechnie Aluminium Invests in New Press at Taranaki plant

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019

  Taranaki based McKechnie Aluminium has invested NZD 18 million in new machinery to help it leapfrog into the future. This has increased the plant's capacity by between 30 and 40%, as it can now produce larger-sized products and complex profiles that could not previously be made in New Zealand. McKechnie Mr Pramod Khatri said that "We have leap-frogged into the future in terms of technology, we have got a press that will cater for the future, whatever is coming. McKechnie, which is based in Bell Block, has been manufacturing and exporting for 60 years, and the new press will enable it to continue for at least another 60.”

  McKechnies inception began in 1871 when mr Duncan McKechnie started a metal extraction works at St Helens in Lancashire. Mr Duncan’s sons Daniel and Alex McKechnie, backed by their father, started in partnership as copper and silver refiners in Widnes in 1891. Operations moved to Birmingham in 1894 and the first extrusion press was installed in 1910. The company initially specialised in brass, bronze, nickel silver and copper extrusions. New Zealand operations began on 27 February 1951 when the McKechnie Brothers (NZ) company was incorporated and the city of New Plymouth was chosen and inAugust 1953 that the first brass billet was extruded. In 1966 the company purchased 57 acres of land in Bell Block and significantly increased the size of the operations. Factory space increased to 144,000 sq ft, against the old area of 68,000 sq ft. The plant was relocated in 1967 where it still remains today. In 2002 the company exited the Copper and Brass operations and became a single site Aluminium manufacturing operation. In April 2004 the company was acquired by a consortium which included senior managers of the company.

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