Dairy ingredients company Glanbia Ingredients Ireland has announced its plan to build a new dairy facility in Belview on the Kilkenny/Waterford border that is expected to create 1,600 direct and indirect jobs and contribute circa €400m per year to the Irish economy.
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation will partly fund the development of the dairy plant via Enterprise Ireland.
Glanbia Ingredients Ireland is a joint venture between Glanbia plc and Glanbia Co-Op. It currently processes 1.6bn litres of milk, or 30pc of Ireland’s milk pool, into dairy ingredients that are exported to more than 50 countries.
Construction of the new Belview dairy plant is set to begin in mid-May, with Glanbia aiming to begin production in spring 2015. All produce from the new facility will be destined for export markets.
Making the announcement today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, said Glanbia is aiming to generate more than 1,600 direct and indirect jobs by 2018 and an additional 450 jobs during the build of the plant.
Kenny said the Government is supporting Glanbia’s investment as it represents a "massive vote of confidence" in Ireland and the agri-food sector.
"Glanbia is one of Ireland’s great home-grown success stories and its investment in the south-east region will be welcomed by rural communities and farmers," he said.
Kenny added that this is the largest single dairy investment in the history of the State and will contribute to Ireland’s export-led recovery.
Boost to the rural economy
As the dairy industry purchases 90pc of its inputs from the domestic economy, Glanbia said the new facility will have an impact on the income of farms, boosting the rural economy and the local industries that will service on-farm expansion.
Jim Bergin, CEO, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, said the facility is a significant, strategic development. He said it reflects Glanbia’s commitment to its 4,300 milk suppliers.
"By providing this additional processing capacity we will be facilitating milk suppliers in their ambition to avail of the opportunity presented by quota abolition post-2015," said Bergin.
Speaking about the Government’s acknowledgement of the economic contribution of the Belview project, Bergin said the facility will contribute €400m each year to the local economies of 16 surrounding counties.
"It demonstrates a real long-term commitment to farm families and the rural economy," he said.
Enterprise Ireland CEO Frank Ryan said the Glanbia news would secure Ireland’s standing as a world leader in the dairy industry.
"Food is Ireland’s No 1 export sector and critically important to our economy and export-led growth," he said.