Glanbia plans to double capacity at Wexford Cheese plant

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The plant at Wexford could double its milk processing capacity if a proposed expansion is approved.
The plant at Wexford could double its milk processing capacity if a proposed expansion is approved.

Related tags Cheese Whey

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) is seeking planning permission for an expansion at its Wexford cheese plant. 

The proposed $38.6m (€35m) investment is being supported by Enterprise Ireland.

The expansion would double peak milk processing capacity at the plant on the outskirts of Wexford town. 

Glanbia says that the investment will secure the future of the plant’s 48 employees, as well as generating 60-70 jobs during the construction phase.

Record volumes of cheese in 2015

Glanbia acquired Wexford Creamery in May 2014.  During 2015, the plant produced almost 20,000 tonnes of cheddar cheese, as well as whey for further processing at Glanbia’s Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny facility.

Jim Bergin, chief executive of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, said, “This proposed investment is a tremendous vote of confidence in the staff at our Wexford plant, which produced record volumes of cheese in 2015.

“Our milk suppliers in Wexford are amongst the fastest growing and most progressive in the Glanbia catchment area. This investment will also enable further growth in our highly popular Wexford Cheese brand, which is being marketed in Ireland, the UK, the USA and, most recently, the Middle East.”

Work could start late 2016

In the ten months since milk quota abolition last April, milk supply from Glanbia’s 4,800 farmer suppliers has grown by 22%. In 2015, across its four Irish milk-processing locations, the company processed in excess of 2bn litres of milk for the first time.

Henry Corbally, chairman of GII said, This latest investment is part of Glanbia’s commitment to meet the growth ambitions of our milk suppliers. In the past three years, GII has invested $259m (€235m) at the company’s milk processing plants at Virginia (Co Cavan), Ballyragget and Belview (Co Kilkenny).”

If planning approval is secured, work would commence in the fourth quarter of 2016 with a scheduled completion of spring 2017.

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