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Saturday 20 October 2018

Glanbia to spend €125m increasing capacity at Belview

Glanbia's €185m processing facility at Belview
Glanbia's €185m processing facility at Belview
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Glanbia is to spend €125m over the next 18 months as it increases its processing capacity at its Belview site.

Milk supply to Glanbia Ireland grew by 9pc in 2017 and further investment is now planned in order to increase milk processing capacity at Belview in line with farmers' plans for expansion, it confirmed.

Glanbia Ireland Chief Executive Jim Bergin told farmers recently that the company will invest €125m in milk processing capacity to cater for the expansion in milk supply forecast by Glanbia farmers. Some 74pc of Glanbia suppliers increased their milk supply by a weighted average of 12.9pc compared to the previous year.

Planning permission has been secured for a new milk dryer at Belview and the capacity of the two current driers will be increased in 2018, while the entire new capacity will be in place for the 2019 peak season.

By 2020, Glanbia’s 4,800 milk suppliers expect to increase milk production by 63pc. Currently Glanbia Ingredients Ireland processes 1.8 billion litres of milk or 30pc of Ireland’s milk pool into a range of dairy ingredients for export to more than 50 countries.

It's understood that the €125m is coming from Glanbia Ireland’s own resources.

Developed at an investment of more than €180m by Glanbia, with support from the government via Enterprise Ireland, the total investment programme of over €235m was the largest indigenous infrastructure investment made by an Irish company in 80 years.

In terms of the dairy market outlook, Mr Bergin has cautioned milk suppliers that 2018 is likely to be more challenging than 2017. It comes as the EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan warned Irish farmers recently that the current rate of expansion in the sector is not sustainable.

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