Welsh dairy company expanding with “Project Dragon”

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The Welsh dairy cooperative has increased its turnover by 100% over the past five years. Pic: South Caernarfon Creameries
The Welsh dairy cooperative has increased its turnover by 100% over the past five years. Pic: South Caernarfon Creameries

Related tags Cheese Wales Whey

Processing equipment company Gemak has been awarded the contract for Project Dragon to manufacture, install and commission a whey processing and concentration facility and a cheese C.I.P. plant for South Caernarfon Creameries (SCC) as part of its £15m ($19.8m) investment program.

SCC’s investment comes as a part of a three-year expansion plan to increase production from its current level of 15,000 tons of cheese a year to 23,000 tons. The investment by SCC is being supported by the Welsh Government with a £5m ($6.6m) grant from the Food Business Investment Scheme.

The plant will be capable of processing whey at a rate of 30tph and concentration up to 30% total solids. It will also include a cream processing plant, storage and C.I.P. unit. As part of the contract, a new C.I.P. unit for the existing cheese plant will also be supplied.

The dairy cooperative has increased its turnover by 100% over the past five years.

Managing director Alan Wyn-Jones said, “We’re pleased to start the next phase of our business growth strategy which will make us even more resilient, efficient and sustainable in what is a ferociously competitive global industry.”

“We have gone through a detailed design, URS and tendering process in selecting the technology partner for SCC’s for first phase of “Project Dragon” as part of our growth plan for the next three years. Gemak was chosen due to their quality, technology, ability to integrate into our existing processes and systems, lead time and competitiveness. We would also thank our project management partner Integrated Food Projects for their support in this process.”

Kursat Uysal from Gemak UK said, “We are very proud and excited to have been chosen by SCC as their technology partner for this project, an important step for Gemak in entering the UK whey processing market. Following the opening of our new assembly plant in 2019 and another assembly plant in early November 2021 we are able to offer up to 85% of complete factory installation work to be done at our premises, reducing installation and commissioning time at our customers site by 8-12 weeks and disruption caused to customers by having contractors on site which has proven to be very popular and at times a necessity during these unprecedented times with restrictions and uncertainty giving us complete flexibility and USP.”

The project management is provided by project lead Andrew Lyons from Integrated Food Projects (IFP) who said, “The plant was designed to deliver an optimal operational efficiency and sustainable solutions with stringent kpi’s on waste levels, utility consumptions, operating costs andMust Win Battles. The new facility will strive to achieve carbon zero operation.”

South Caernarfon Creameries is Wales’ oldest and largest dairy cooperative, which has been farmer-owned since 1938. SCC manufactures and packs more than 40 varieties of Welsh and British cheeses using milk from its 140 farmer members.

Established in 1986, Gemak is a specialist, in design and manufacture of hygienic processing equipment and engineered solutions for the dairy, beverage, food, plant-based and chemical sectors with a team of more than 250 people. Gemak operates from three manufacturing sites and four sales and service locations in Ankara, Turkey, Manchester, UK, Chicago, US, Dubai, UAE, and Ottawa, Canada.

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