Rock­tec name to be re­tained

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Mata­mata min­ing and quar­ry­ing en­gi­neer­ing equip­ment com­pany Rock­tec is set to be­come the North Is­land man­u­fac­tur­ing base for the new owner, Christchurch’s South­ern Cross En­gi­neer­ing Group, one of the coun­try’s big­gest me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing op­er­a­tors.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Thorn said the nearly 60- year- old South Is­land en­gi­neer­ing spe­cial­ist, which ser­viced the bulk ma­te­ri­als han­dling, saw milling, wood re­pro­cess­ing, and heavy struc­tural and me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing in­dus­tries, would keep the Rock- tec name and brands be­cause they had ‘‘pulling power’’ and mar­ket value. The 40 jobs at Rock­tec’s Mata­mata head­quar­ters were safe, he said.

Rock­tec’s man­age­ment are in Christchurch to dis­cuss how their peo­ple and ex­per­tise can best be used to re­alise South­ern Cross’s aim of driv­ing its an­nual rev­enues to $100 mil­lion in five years, Mr Thorn said.

It was pos­si­ble more staff would be hired at Rock­tec, which de­signs and makes spe­cial­ist min­ing and quar­ry­ing equip­ment, and has a pres­ence in Yatala, Queens­land.

Rock­tec was bought from the Steven­son Group for an undis­closed sum.

The pur­chase, helped by bank debt, would as­sist South­ern Cross’s di­ver­si­fied prod­uct push into Aus­tralia, Mr Thorn said.

Rock­tec em­ploys, among oth­ers, engi­neers, draughts­men, metal fab­ri­ca­tors and welders.

Rock­tec also has an in­ter­na­tional dealer and distri­bu­tion net­work which sup­plies its equip­ment to clients world­wide.

A re­cent gyp­sum han­dling and con­veyor project for Bo­ral Aus­tralia in Vic­to­ria had been worth about $7m to SCE, and an­other con­veyor and screen in­stal­la­tion con­tract at a New South Wales rock quarry was to­wards $10m.

SCE rev­enues in the year to March 31, 2013 would be some­where be­tween $50m and $60m.

The quarry up­grade project had helped stim­u­late the Rock­tec pur­chase, Mr Thorn said.

He said the Rock­tec pur­chase would en­able SCE to grow with a merger of two ‘‘high-per­form­ing’’ con­tract en­gi­neer­ing com­pa­nies.

‘‘They each have a very strong per­for­mance his­tory and both will mar­ket their es­tab­lished brands in their own ar­eas of ex­per­tise. Each can sup­port the other when needed.

‘‘ Rock­tec had as­pi­ra­tions of grow­ing into Perth ... [Where] there’s heaps of op­por­tu­nity for the gear we build and the pro­cesses we can work in.’’

SCE was al­ready work­ing in West­ern Aus­tralia, with a $7m con­tract for equip­ment for an am­mo­nium ni­trate plant near Port Hed­land.

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