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Turning Gas into Grass - Ballance Agri-Nutrients Back to 'Case Studies'

The team at New Zealand’s only ammonia-urea plant, Ballance Kapuni, have been quietly getting on with it since 1982, and produce more than 260,000 tonnes of urea every year, or one-third of the total urea supply for New Zealand. 

Attracting highly-skilled people to rural Taranaki has been an ongoing challenge for Ballance.  The unique ammonia-urea plant employs more than 130 people, many of whom have come from the other side of the world to find greener pastures in New Zealand.  Ballance registered as an employer on the Taranaki Jobs website in September 2009 and has advertised more than 20 roles on the site since then. 

Venture Taranaki supported Ballance through the peak high-growth years of oil and gas in 2010-2014, when top talent was in high demand globally, and the Australian mining industry proved an irresistible draw for some.  Ballance joined Venture Taranaki on a trade mission to the UK in November 2011 to attend three migration and recruitment expos, and employed four people as a result.  Ballance staff have also featured in Venture Taranaki case studies, to help convince both locals and newcomers that the grass really is greener in Taranaki.

“Ballance has been able to use Venture Taranaki’s support and resources to sell the skills, capability and lifestyle of the Taranaki province to attract not only potential employees, but also international engineering procurement and construction contractors.  New Zealand is a small market a long way from the home offices of large international contractors, and Venture Taranaki play an important role as an independent organisation to reduce risk perceptions regarding doing business in our part of the world,” says Ballance General Manager Operations John Maxwell.

“The campaigns have been stand-out and impactful, and the Lifestyle Toolkits have been a great resource for new staff.”

John says that when new employees do join the team at Ballance Kapuni they are just as well looked after by Ballance as they are during the initial recruitment search.

“Development of our people is a huge focus here. We have a philosophy that by empowering our people to be the best they can be, we deliver the best outcomes for our customers and our balance sheet.

“As our employees grow, they have the opportunity to explore a range of exciting career opportunities both locally and nationally.”

John says the agriculture sector is a great sector to be supporting, because people will always need to eat, and fertiliser and other farm nutrients play a critical role in food production worldwide.

Agriculture is the backbone of New Zealand, making a significant contribution to our nation’s economy.  We take a long-term view on providing a reliable and sustainable supply of plant nutrients which is globally competitive so we can continue to support the people and pastures that make our primary sector such a success.”

  Turning Gas into Grass - Ballance Agri-Nutrients  
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