Giant vessel gets DTD Engineering back on track

AN 18-tonne pressure vessel has rolled off the production line at DTD Engineering in Thurgoona bound for a Dubbo company that exports sheep products.

Fletcher International Exports is undergoing a major refrigeration expansion at its abattoir, which is Dubbo’s biggest employer.

The pressure vessel will store ammonia that will be used in the creation of freezer plates for long-term preserving of lamb products ahead of export.

The vessel, made from high grade steel, is capable of storing $200,000 worth of ammonia.

It was built within six weeks and has a diameter of 3.1 metres and is 10.5 metres long.

The domed ends are 22 millimetres thick.

DTD Engineering managing director Tom Lappin said the completion of the pressure vessel was further evidence the company was bouncing back from a turbulent period last year when it went into voluntary administration.

Mr Lappin and fellow former owner David Larkin, along with Paul Raethel, bought the company from the administrator.

“The company is still here and we are back in action,” Mr Lappin said.

“The guys who built the pressure vessel deserve some credit.”

The DTD Engineering workforce has been trimmed to 48, from 56 at the time of going into voluntary administration.

“We are trying to re-establish and re-build,” Mr Lappin said.

“The place was unsustainable the way it was.

“We think we are on the way back up.”

The pressure vessel has an operational temperature range of between minus 40 degrees and 10 degrees.

In the packaging stage lamb products will be pressed between metal plates that are cooled to subfreezing temperatures by internally circulating ammonia.

“We are one of the very few companies which have a submerged arc welder between Sydney and Melbourne,” Mr Lappin said.

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