Arla plans billion litre milk processing plant near London

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk processing plant Milk Dairy Arla foods

Arla Foods has unveiled plans to build a one billion litre liquid milk processing facility on the outskirts of London.

The Scandinavian dairy company said the facility will be the largest and most technologically advanced of its kind in the world.

Arla had already announced its intention to make a significant investment in its UK business, but only this week did it reveal the extent of that investment.

Due to be operational in 2012, the milk processing plant will have the capacity to produce 1bn kg milk annually. This represents one fifth of the yearly milk consumption in the UK.

Arla is currently finalising its search for a suitable site for the plant. Detailed plans will be presented to the board in early 2010.

World class

In a press statement, the company said the London site will be the most efficient milk processing facility in the world, with top environmental credentials.

“Incorporating the most sustainable building techniques the dairy will be the largest, most efficient and environmentally advanced in the world,”​ said Peter Lauritzen, CEO of Arla Foods.

Over the next 12 to 18 months Arla will be sourcing equipment for the plant, but Arla spokesperson Nicola Hedge said it is too earlier to say who the company will be partnering with to develop the site.

It is expected that around 500 jobs in production, distribution and administration will be created at the site.

UK business

Arla already has a major dairy processing plant in the UK at Stourton, near Leeds. In January this year the company announced an investment of more than £70m to expand production at the site for the processing of fresh dairy products, including fresh cream and Crème Fraiche. Building work has already begun and the additional facilities are expected to be operational early in 2010.

Arla Foods UK was created in 2003 following a merger between Arla Foods and Express Dairies, and became a fully owned subsidiary in 2007 when Arla bought out the remaining shares in the UK business. Accounting for about a third of overall Arla sales, Arla Foods UK is a crucial division of the business.

Hedge said the latest investment near London is about building up the UK business for the next generation.

Related topics Markets Fresh Milk Arla Foods

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