The biggest dairy in the Republic of Ireland's history is set to be built with construction due to start later in May.
Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GIIL) is behind the plans and announced that the facility will be used to make products for export. The Belview dairy will become the biggest of its ilk in the Republic and will provide a major boost to employment in the country. Officials explained that around 1,600 new jobs are due to be created to help process 1.6 billion litres of milk into a multitude of dairy ingredients which will then be exported to 50 countries across the world.
The figure represents 30 per cent of Ireland's milk pool and will make the country a major player within the dairy sector. Officials explained that construction is due to start of May 17th with a completion date earmarked for spring 2015 when production will get underway. GIIL believes that it will provide a significant stimulus to the Irish rural economy, with as much as €400 million (£338 million) a year being invested into the sector.
GIIL stated that the plant will be focused on export markets with a range of nutritional powders being supplied to the likes of the Middle East, Africa, Central America and Asia.
Jim Bergen, chief executive officer of GIIL, said: "The Belview facility is a significant, strategic development for our business. Most of all it reflects our confidence in, and commitment to our 4,300 milk suppliers.
"By providing this additional processing capacity we will be facilitating milk suppliers in their ambition to avail of the opportunity presented by quota abolition post 2015. We are very pleased that through Enterprise Ireland, the Government is acknowledging the economic contribution of the Belview project."
GIIL is one of the biggest companies within the Irish dairy sector and is currently trading at a share price of €10.30, marking a strong performance in the opening part of the year.