A long-awaited celebration
Mike personally thanked everyone involved for their contribution to the project and gave a proud recount of the journey.
"Like building a cathedral in the 12th century (which would take 100 years to complete), the cost of the project was vast, many highly skilled people were employed, the workforce was multi-generational and the challenges faced were complex and often highly technical. But many cathedrals are still standing centuries later, which justifies the effort and today we're thrilled to be standing inside our incredible masterpiece, ready to pick, pack and ship paint around New Zealand, Australia, Pacific Islands, Mauritius, China, Papua New Guinea and Oman."
It's all in the details
If you haven't had the grand tour yet, here's an overview of our new facility's features.
To cover a catastrophic event such as an earthquake, the building must be able to contain half its total product - which is 800,000 litres of liquid. Instead of building a 500mm high bund, we came up with a solution to install three auto bund systems at each entry point. These systems sit at floor level when not activated, but have the ability to flip up during an incident where liquid flows into the sumps, setting off a trigger. The gate is then locked and sits against a chemical resistant seal to contain product safely. The beauty of this system is that it's safe to drive over with heavy forklifts, activates without any power and is working for us 24/7.
Other unique elements include a four-hour fire-rated concrete structure specially designed to hold class four goods with a heavy steel door that closes automatically in the event of a fire, a suite of flameproof forklifts and a highly specialised tint room.
The tint room is the only place on-site where we can remove lids. To prevent fume exposure and a potentially explosive atmosphere, the power supply doesn't switch on until the ventilation system has been running for five minutes. We've also installed an independently powered infrared camera which displays CCTV on a monitor, so if one of our team gets into trouble, they'll be seen on the screen and we can act immediately.
Health and safety remain our top priority, and we've worked extremely hard and at times against all odds - to deliver a facility that's cutting edge in terms of its strength and ability to store large quantities of dangerous goods, as well as provide an environment where our staff and community feel safe. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
A bright future ahead
This facility is a testament to our astronomical growth since Altex was founded in 1954 including 20 percent growth in the past 12 months.
For 64 years we've served the local market, creating jobs, pushing the boundaries of innovation and delivering a wide range of coating types for almost every major industry sector. We now have more than 85 staff, many of whom have had long careers with the company, and we thank each one of them for their continued support and hard work.
Our new facility represents a major turning point for our business - this building is one of the most advanced and secure in New Zealand, and will play an instrumental role in our continued growth as we add new talent to our team, explore new markets and develop new products that protect assets and enable our customers to thrive. This building really is the gem in our business that will allow us to keep growing in a safe, productive and efficient way.
While we're taking a moment to stop, reflect and celebrate, we know the road to success is always under construction so watch this space. It's only onwards and upwards from here.