Company Profile Contractor

RedBull Powder’s proud legacy – and bright future

RedBull Powder Company celebrated its 20-year legacy of innovation recently as the company continues to grow.

The RedBull team gathered 130 staff, customers and suppliers together at Bracu Pavilion in Bombay to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday.

In 1997, founders Peter Shapiro and Mike Henderson set out to offer something unique to the extraction industry: A fully integrated blasting service, including drilling, manufacture, blasting and technical support. They also wanted to create a values-based company, with a strong identity and, in Peter’s words “build good relationships, and create a sense of belonging”.

RedBull is now a leading specialist drilling and blasting contractor that claims 65 percent of the local commercial explosives market. “RedBull’s explosives produce most of the aggregate used on New Zealand roads, all the cement produced in the country,

Loading blast holes on a quarry bench.

and about half of our gold production,” it says.

“We service over 120 North Island quarries, firing about 80 blasts throughout the North Island every month.”

North Island operations include manufacturing, drilling, blasting and technical support for over 120 quarry customers. The North Island emulsion explosives facility is at Kopako, near Auckland.

The South Island operation is based at Macraes Mine, where RedBull supplies the Open Pit and Frasers Underground mines with all explosive products. Bulk Emulsion (named RedStar Bulk Emulsion) is manufactured on the mine site.

RedBull manufactures Packaged Emulsion Explosives (named RedPak) from 25mm to 65mm diameter and varying lengths to suit applications.

RedBull recently signed a single supply contract to provide blast services for all nine GBC Winstone quarries across the North Island over the next three years.

Moving to a single supplier is a significant change for GBC Winstone (the country’s largest supplier of sand and aggregates).

“We selected RedBull as sole supplier based on their demonstrated savings, using their high-quality bulk emulsion, excellent service and their aligned safety, quality and risk management values,” says Mark McKenzie, general manager of GBC Winstone.

In terms of innovation, Redbull was among the first in the world to master the use of digital technology to control blast vibration in a mining environment, which is now an industry standard in high sensitivity blasting worldwide.

RedBull is also one of only three manufacturers of packaged explosives in Australasia, and the only supplier here operating two bulk emulsion plants.

In 2013 the company secured global investment partner Yahua International of Chengdu, China. Over the last two years, Yahua entered the Australian explosives market under Peter’s leadership, acquiring three companies to become a significant participant in the Australian quarry industry.

RedBull says two outstanding features of its 20-year legacy is the fact that 30 percent of the RedBull team have more than 10 years of service, and their safety record shows over 1100 days without a single lost time injury.

“The safety of the RedBull team and customers naturally comes first,” says Peter.

“Our record is a credit to everyone in our team, and our systems and the culture of ownership of safety.”

General manager Chris Pilmer says the company’s people are its legacy; “and we will continue to find and keep the best in the industry”.

“The future for RedBull is a really exciting one. We will continue our drive for innovation and excellence and we will grow our manufacturing for export markets. Importantly, we will also develop synergies with our new larger Australasian family of companies.”

Raw materials being added for manufacturing process.

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