Lakeland Dairies opens €40m expansion of milk powder operations
The Bailieboro facility is among the most advanced milk powder plants in the world and one of the largest such plants in Europe. The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys also attended, together with Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies, the Board and regional committees of the co-operative and Group Chief Executive, Michael Hanley. The event forms part of a series of open days where hundreds of Lakeland Dairies milk supplying farmers, and their families, are also visiting the new facility.
The investment has been supported by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland. This is creating 85 new jobs across the Lakeland Dairies Group between now and 2019. Over 180 construction workers were employed by contractors during the building, installation and commissioning phases for the new facilities. With 2,400 dairy farmers supplying milk to the co-operative across 15 counties north and south, Lakeland Dairies now employs over 800 people.
One of Ireland’s leading farmer owned dairy processing co-operatives, Lakeland Dairies processes over 1.2 Billion litres of farm produced milk annually into 240 value-added dairy foodservice products and food ingredients for export to over 80 countries worldwide.
This is Lakeland Dairies’ third milk drying plant at its Bailieboro processing centre. It will now produce over 160,000 tonnes of milk powders and 50,000 tonnes of butter annually on the same site, which allows great flexibility in milk throughput and overall economies of scale for the food ingredients business.
The development is designed to ensure that the co-operative is well positioned to take advantage of all future market opportunities for its milk producers. The expansion saw the installation of a new 7 tonne per hour milk dryer and evaporators where total milk powder production capacity has now increased to 20 tonnes per hour. The plant has the highest levels of efficiency including heat recovery systems and its energy centre can also supply electricity back into to the national grid.
Agriculture , Food and Marine Minister Michael Creed said: “International markets hold big growth potential for Ireland as a global exporter of high quality dairy food ingredients. With this impressive new facility, Lakeland Dairies will compete strongly in serving its existing long standing customers and will also access new markets. The new plant is a model of innovation and efficiency and is exemplary of the very high standards of food quality and production which our dairy industry is projecting across the world.”