IRELAND – Glanbia Cheese, the Joint Venture business between Glanbia plc and Leprino Foods, has announced plans to build a new, world-class mozzarella cheese manufacturing facility in Portlaoise, Co Laois, Ireland.

According to the company, a site for the new facility has been identified at the recently established Togher National Industrial Estate in Portlaoise.

A total of US$171 million will be invested in this world-class facility, which is supported by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.

The company added that the new facility will have a production capacity of 45,000 tons per annum, and approximately 78 full time jobs will be created at the facility.

It is expected that a further 250 jobs will be created during the construction phase.

The project will move to its planning phase if the planning permission is successfully achieved, and construction will commence later this year, to which the new facility would be expected to begin production in 2020.

“This is a great day for Glanbia Cheese, Portlaoise and the Midlands region.

The economic growth of our regions through the creation of sustainable jobs is a priority for Government, and I am delighted to see this level of investment and such a significant number of jobs being created here today – most certainly a welcome boost to the economy of Portlaoise,” said Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD.

“Glanbia’s continuous investment here shows their commitment and confidence in Ireland, our dairy excellence and our talented workforce.

I congratulate Glanbia, Leprino Foods and Enterprise Ireland and look forward to their continued success here in Portlaoise.”

Glanbia and Leprino Foods already have a successful existing Joint Venture partnership in Glanbia Cheese Limited which 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.

The new investment will build upon this successful partnership while the new scalable facility will provide bespoke cheese solutions for customers across Europe.

“We are pleased to announce plans to build this new facility for Glanbia Cheese.

Our partnership with Leprino Foods has been very successful for both partners to date and we are very positive about the potential of this new venture,” said Siobhán Talbot, Group Managing Director of Glanbia.

“We have worked closely with Enterprise Ireland on this project and are very appreciative of their support and commitment.

We now look forward to moving the project on to its next phase.”

Commenting Mike Durkin, President of Leprino Foods, said: “This new plant in Portlaoise is an exciting project that will not only expand our thriving partnership with Glanbia, but will take advantage of our combined experience, knowledge and strengths to build a state-of-the-art 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.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland concluded: “Today’s 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.

The result of this investment is 78 jobs supported by Enterprise Ireland and a further 250 during the construction phase, which will deliver a positive impact to the region, supporting sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.

We are committed to working with Glanbia and Leprino Foods to support this partnership.”