Leading global dairy company, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili), today officially opened its $236 million Oceania Dairy factory in Glenavy, South Canterbury.
Yili also confirmed plans to invest a further $400 million in the South Canterbury factory over the next five years, increasing its total investment to in excess of $600 million.
Yili is China’s largest dairy company and one of the top ten dairy companies in the world. Oceania Dairy Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary.
The first stage of the Glenavy factory was completed in September and the factory is in its first full season of production.
More than 70 jobs have been created within stage one of the new plant and 48 local supply farmers are meeting 2014-15 milk season requirements. 220 million litres of milk will be processed through the factory in its first season.
“The Oceania Dairy factory at Glenavy is Yili’s first major offshore investment and the company is very focused on ensuring the success of the operation,” said Zhang Jianqiu, Executive President of Yili Group.
“As the world’s largest milk exporter, New Zealand is ideally positioned to work with China to meet the country’s escalating demand for milk,” he said.
Yili is listed on the Shanghai stock exchange and its 2013 revenue of US$7.6 billion made it the 10th largest dairy company in the world.
Yili purchased Oceania Dairy in April 2013 and commenced development of its infant formula milk processing plant on a 38ha block of land at Glenavy.
Following completion of Stage One of the development, Yili has announced details of a further five-year, $400 million development project on the Glenavy site.
It is expected that the completed project will add a further 150 staff to the Oceania Dairy roster at Glenavy.
“We anticipate the first phase of the expansion project will commence in early 2015 and have scheduled the remaining phases through to completion in 2019,” said Aidan Johnstone, Chief Executive of Oceania Dairy Limited.
“This comprehensive project will add capacity to output a wide range of additional products from the Glenavy factory.
“That will include a whole milk powder dryer, an infant formula canning line, and facilities to manufacture UHT milk products and lactoferrin.
“We expect to be handling more than 630 million litres of milk from local farm suppliers by the end of the expansion project in 2019, generating export revenues in excess of $700 million,” he said.