Christchurch engineering company Southern Cross Engineering is celebrating the winning of a $25 million order that is creating about 50 new jobs in the city.
''It is probably one of the largest orders we have ever placed,'' chief executive Paul Thorn said today.
The heavy engineering company at Bromley has advertised locally, nationally and overseas to pull in new staff to complete the order for 25 grain stackers by November 1 for big Australian logistics company Grain Corp, an international exporter of grain.
Southern Cross had to set up and lease new premises in Halswell for the undertaking.
''The objective is to have repeat business by the end of the year,'' Thorn said.
When that facility was in full production from late August one grain stacker would be rolling off the production line every three days.
Some of the parts were contracted out but a lot were manufactured at its Bromley factory. Each weighed 40 tonnes.
The new jobs covered a range of skills from fabricators, welders, machinists to assembly operators.
The machine took a year to develop for the client which had previously bought a wood chip loading machine from Southern Cross and asked the company to develop a prototype grain stacker.
''The client like it so much they have ordered 25 of them,'' Thorn said.
''This is another Kiwi innovation which has broken the rules of the industry in
The new machine stacked grain at a faster rate than the one it was replacing and was quicker in manoeuvring between grain stacks.
The company saw good prospects for the machine further afield and intended marketing it the agricultural industry in North America.