€40m milk powder plant for Lakeland Dairies
THE farmer-owned co-operative Lakeland Dairies believes the new €40m milk powder plant will ensure they remain competitively placed in the long-term.
The new hi-tech milk powder facility at Bailieboro in Co Cavan unveiled yesterday will ensure the plant is able to deliver 160,000 tonnes of powder and 50,000 tonnes of butter a year.
Following demand for dairy rocketing in China, group CEO Michael Hanley said they were working to ensure "long term competitiveness and sustainability" to meet the needs of customers in the global food industry.
In particular, he said they were targeting the areas of infant formulas, dairy proteins, food manufacturing and health-related nutritional products.
More than 180 construction workers were employed to install the new seven tonne an hour milk dryer and evaporators, while 85 new jobs will be created between now and 2019.
With the installation of the third dryer, the plant is now capable to delivering 20 tonnes of milk powder per hour.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said the international markets hold "big growth potential" for Ireland as a global exporter of high-quality dairy.
While Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys described the technologically advanced plan as a "jewel in the crown of Ireland's dairy industry".