The site for the new facility, which will have an annual capacity of 45,000 tons, will be at the recently established Togher National Industrial Estate in Portlaoise.
A total of €130m ($153m) will be invested in the facility, which is supported by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland. Approximately 78 full-time jobs will be created, with a further 250 jobs created during the construction phase.
If planning permission is granted, construction will commence later this year and the new facility would begin production in 2020.
Major mozzarella makers
Glanbia Cheese was established in 2000 and has large-scale manufacturing operations in Llangefni in Wales and in Magheralin, Northern Ireland. Glanbia Cheese Limited is the leading mozzarella manufacturer in Europe.
Leprino Foods, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, produces cheese and dairy ingredients, and is the largest producer of mozzarella cheese in the world. It also manufactures lactose, whey protein and sweet whey.
Siobhán Talbot, group managing director of Glanbia, said the partnership with Leprino Foods has been very successful for both partners to date, and Glanbia is very positive about the potential of this new venture.
Mike Durkin, president of Leprino Foods, said the new plant will take advantage of the companies’ combined experience, knowledge and strengths to build a facility to meet consumer demand for mozzarella cheese.
“It also reflects a desire to increase our presence and benefit from having a facility that is in close proximity to the growing European markets,” Durkin said.
Sustainable economic growth
Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, said the announcement is one of the largest new name Food FDI projects secured for Ireland by Enterprise Ireland in recent times.
“Enterprise Ireland is responsible for attracting Foreign Direct Investment from the global food industry into Ireland and we are delighted to support this significant investment project which was won for Ireland and Laois against strong competition from many other locations,” Sinnamon said.
She added the project will deliver a positive impact to the region, supporting sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.
Glanbia Cheese’s Portlaoise facility will source the majority of its key raw materials from Glanbia Ireland. The facility will supply products to customers in the food service sector of the pizza category across Europe.