Yili to invest NZ$400m in New Zealand dairy projects

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese President, Xi Jinping (left centre), and New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key (right centre), unveiling Yili Oceania Production Base.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping (left centre), and New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key (right centre), unveiling Yili Oceania Production Base.
Chinese dairy giant Yili plans to invest NZ$400m in a series of processing and packaging projects at what has been dubbed the “world’s largest integrated dairy base.”

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, were on hand today to unveil the Yili Oceania Production in Waimate on New Zealand's South Island.

As detailed in Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) filings, Yili plans to invest a total of NZ$400m in four projects at the site.

Yili has set aside NZ$201m to construct a milk powder plant with an annual production capacity of 56,000 tonnes.

It also hopes to "make better use of the advantages of New Zealand's raw milk costs​" with a NZ$92.4m investment in UHT milk.

A further NZ$40.2m will be ploughed into infant formula packaging, and NZ$40.2m into a deep processing project Yili hopes will lead to the production of "more diverse products to meet consumers' nutritional requirements."

"This investment will help improve the company's profitability, enhance the company's competitiveness, and improve the company's brand influence," ​each of the SSE filings concluded.

Research MOU

The NZ$400m pledged by Yili today takes the total invested in its wholly-owned New Zealand subsidiary Oceania Dairy to nearly NZ$550m.

Yili completed its acquisition of Oceania Dairy in December 2012 and immediately vowed to invest NZ$214m in the construction of a plant to produce infant formula.

While in New Zealand, Yili took the opportunity to establish a research relationship with Lincoln University.

Key and Jinping witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Yili and the Canterbury-based institution. 

“The MOU aims to explore initiatives in dairy farm and dairy processing technologies, research for improving value-add for dairy products and ingredients, the development of efficiencies in the production of dairy products, and the enhancement of supply chain quality and safety,"​ said a Lincoln University statement.

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