Glanbia Ingredients Ireland opens milk protein plant in Virginia, Co Cavan

Invests €7.8m in new plant to double production

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland opens new Milk Protein Plant in Virginia, Co. Cavan from left Heather Humphreys, Minister Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht; Jim Bergin, CEO Glanbia Ingredients Ireland; Arlene Foster, Northern Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment and Liam Herlihy, Chairman Glanbia Ingredients Ireland. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Irish dairy company Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) has officially opened its newly-built milk protein facility on its site in Virginia, Co. Cavan.

The expansion of the Virginia facility, which employs 100 people, is specifically designed to meet the exacting technical standards of the clinical and lifestyle nutrition market, a business which is growing worldwide and predicted to expand by double digits over the next decade.

Nearly €8m has been invested in the Virginia plant to build the new milk protein unit, which will more than double current milk protein capacity from 4,000 to 10,000 tonnes.

The facility will also continue its production of enriched milk powders for export markets, as well as exclusive cream supply to the global Baileys brand.

Operating in Virginia since 1974, GII is currently investing €200m in its facilities with support from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland, which represents one of the largest ever investment programmes undertaken by an indigenous company.

Jim Bergin, CEO of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, said: 'GII has a strong investment programme of over €200m which is designed to position the business for future growth. While we are conscious of current fluctuations in commodity pricing, the long range outlook for the business and for suppliers is positive – with a growing demand from customers for the high quality milk proteins we will be producing here in Virginia.

'The opening of our new plant ensures that both GII and our farmer suppliers will be able to capitalise on the generational opportunity that is provided by the ending of milk quotas next year.'

GII launched its advanced milk protein powders under the Solmiko brand in 2008 and has since had applied them in the clinical nutrition and sports nutrition industries. These industries are worth €16bn and are currently growing at greater than 6% per annum.

The new SolmikoHD and SolagoHD variants have higher bulk density and good dispersibility making them easily incorporated into customer formulations using existing processing equipment.

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