Rocktec now under the Southern Cross

Rocktec was bought from the Stevenson Group for an undisclosed sum and SCE wants to use the purchase to drive annual revenues to $ NZ100 million in five years.

SCE is one of New Zealand’s largest mechanical project engineering companies with nearly 100 employees. The purchase of Rocktec will add 40 staff to the group.

The company?s base is in Bromley, with sales operations in New Zealand and across parts of Australia.

The purchase aims to help SCE’s diversified product push into Australia, SCE chief executive Paul Thorn said.

“Now we have both a North Island and South Island fabrication facility we can lever into the North Island for Southern Cross and lever into the South Island for Rocktec,” Thorn said.

Rocktec has a head office and manufacturing plant in Matamata, with an Australian office in Brisbane. It employs engineers, draughtsmen, metal fabricators and welders among others to provide solutions to the quarrying, mining and mineral processing industries.

“We plan that within five years by this acquisition, we are at $ NZ100 million [of annual revenues],” Thorn said.

He said about 65 per cent of Rocktec’s output went to Australia. Past projects have included building a crushing plant for the Kimberley Diamond Company in Australia and a slag processing plant for NZ Steel.

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

This acquisition complemented SCE Group’s engineering capabilities which have been developed over 58 years in areas such as green and dry milling, timber processing, woodchip, coal and gypsum handling, contracting and heavy engineering.

A recent gypsum handling and conveyor project for Boral Australia in Victoria has been worth about $ NZ 7 million to SCE, while another conveyor and screen installation contract at a New South Wales rock quarry was worth $NZ10 million.

The quarry upgrade project has helped stimulate the Rocktec purchase, Thorn said, and the Rocktec purchase will 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 has aspirations of growing into Perth . . . [Where] there’s heaps of opportunity for the gear we build, and the processes we can work in.”

SCE is already working in Western Australia, having won a $NZ7 million contract to help supply equipment for an ammonium nitrate plant near Port Hedland.

Despite a slowdown in the mining industry across the Tasman, Thorn said Rocktec still had plenty of inquiries for future business, including building a ship loader for an Indian firm shipping minerals out of Australia.

About 35 shareholders own Southern Cross Engineering; all are employees of the firm.

Sources: Fairfax NZ, The New Zealand Herald

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