Demolishing, cleaning and building in Gerkesklooster

8 August 2014

Update fire FrieslandCampina Gerkesklooster – After the fire at FrieslandCampina Gerkesklooster the premises are now bursting with activity. The burnt down cheese warehouse is being demolished with heavy machinery.

Contorted steel, remainders of walls and burnt cheeses are being sorted and removed in large containers. There is a construction crane on site, construction workers are pouring concrete for a new floor and the roof is being repaired. The brining room is being pumped out. Specialised companies are cleaning all buildings on site and are supported by our own employees. Machines are cleaned and inspected.

Temporary tents
A large tent has been erected on the site and serves as cafeteria and meeting place. Another tent with lockers serves as dressing room. Employees and contractors receive work and safety instructions out of two temporary office cubicles. Construction helmets instead of hairnets. Safety vests with different colours distinguish employees, coordinators, contractors and visitors. Coloured ribbons indicate where you are allowed to go and where not. Everything is different. In the office, all rooms are fully occupied and it is bustling with activity. Everything is geared towards resuming production of cheese and Valess fibres as soon as possible. At the moment it is not possible to indicate when the production will be up and running again.

No traceable cause
By now, it is clear that the cause of the fire cannot be traced. Neither the police nor the insurance company nor FrieslandCampina were able to identify the cause of the fire, because of the ferocity of the fire and the necessary demolition ordered by the firemen while they were trying to bring the blaze under control. Around 1.1 million kilos of cheese were in the cheese warehouse and another 500,000 kilos in the brining room. The storage tanks contained 1.6 million kilos of fresh milk. All product residues will be destroyed.

Employees are informed on a daily basis and once a week there is a meeting where everyone is updated at the same time.