The site will help to meet growing demand for Glanbia dairy products overseas, including the UK.
It will give the local economy a boost of £401M (€500M) and create hundreds of new jobs: up to 100 in the processing facility itself, 400 in its construction and hundreds more in the supply chain that will support the facility.
Jim Bergin, ceo of Glanbia Dairy Ingredients Ireland told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The site will inject €500M into the Irish economy and create around 850 new jobs in total, including the supply chain that will support it.”
The plan is to facilitate the expansion of milk production and processing for export post the abolition of quotas in 2015.
The scheme is part of a joint venture between Glanbia Co-operative Society and Glanbia plc. Subject to contract and approvals, the two firms will enter a joint venture in respect of Dairy Ingredients Ireland to be known as Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.
Planning permission for the site was granted three weeks ago. The next stage is the approval of the venture, which should be agreed by the interested parties in November.
If all goes ahead, the Belview facility will have the capacity to process 19M litres of milk each week and deliver direct benefits of £192M (€240M) to the region.
Glanbia Dairy ingredients Ireland is Ireland’s largest diary ingredients processor, assembling a milk pool of 1.6bn litres, which it processes into 190,000t of dairy ingredients. These are largely exported to more than 50 countries worldwide across multiple sectors.
The new facility will increase the volume production of existing products.
Bergin said: “We’re going to build on the technologies we have such as milk protein concentrate, affordable nutrition and adding natural elements to milk.”
If all goes according to plan, the Belview site will be in production in early 2015 and the exports will continue.
Ireland’s minister for agriculture Simon Coveney praised Glanbia as one of the “flag bearers of new sustainable food production in Ireland” yesterday (September 12).
Speaking at a recent media visit on sustainability organised by the Irish food Board, Bord Bia, Coveney said: “We believe Glanbia will be at the heart of Ireland’s success story in terms of growth expansion and added value. Ireland has ambitious targets that are alien to the thinking in other European countries, which see agriculture and food as a stagnant industry.
“We export 85% of all the food we make and produce enough dairy to feed more than 10 times the size of our population. We plan to expand on that because there is huge demand for our product, which is increasing year on year.”