Arla’s biggest dairy investment opens
Arla has opened a new production plant – the company’s biggest dairy investment to date – created to “support growing demand for affordable dairy nutrition”.
Dairy company Arla officially inaugurated a new production plant in Germany. The expansion is Arla’s biggest dairy investment to date and “a key driver to meet the growing international demand for sustainable, affordable and nutritious dairy products”, according to the company.
Arla has invested €190 million in the expansion of its dairy in Pronsfeld, Germany, making it Arla’s largest dairy plant, and the company’s biggest single investment in a site.
The expansion of Pronsfeld dairy includes the new production plant which holds a 51-meter-high drying tower as its centrepiece and can process 685 million kilos of milk per year, creating an end-product of around 90,000 tons of high-quality milk powder. The raw milk needed for this is sourced primarily from Arla farms in the region and creates a sustainable channel to support higher returns to farmer owners, according to Arla.
“I am very pleased to inaugurate the expansion of our Pronsfeld dairy today,” said Peder Tuborgh, CEO at Arla Foods. “Securing that as many as possible have access to a good, nutritious diet every day is one of the biggest challenges we face globally. As part of our recently launched Future26 strategy, we will strengthen and expand our business in international markets such as the Middle East, West Africa and Southeast Asia where the demand for affordable, nutritious dairy products exceeds local production as well as local supply. As the largest Arla dairy in the world with a strong export business, the new production plant gives Pronsfeld an even greater place in the growth strategy of our international business,”
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The expansion of Pronsfeld dairy will aid the company’s efforts to achieve its climate goals of an improved sustainability profile and better energy efficiency. A new technical setup for electricity and heat generation, called a CHP, alongside process cooling will reduce the carbon footprint and electricity consumption for the whole dairy site.
As there is currently no green energy alternative to the natural gas used for the new production facility, as a short-term solution, Arla will purchase green electricity certificates corresponding to the CO2e emissions for both the gas and electricity. In addition, Arla is looking into replacing 25 percent of the natural gas used in the new technical setup with hydrogen in the future, which would further reduce the carbon footprint of the company.
“I am very proud about the work of the Arla teams who, together with our partners, have enabled this expansion of our Pronsfeld dairy to come to life,” added Executive Vice President and head of Arla’s supply chain, David Boulanger. “This is an important step in the evolution of our manufacturing footprint towards more efficient and decarbonized dairy production, building on our strengths here in Germany and leveraging the latest technologies. This sets the standards for our future generation of assets that will support our new strategy to be a leader in value creation and sustainability.”
The construction of the production plant was initiated in 2019. Now, Pronsfeld dairy employs 1000 people and produces dairy products to around 70 countries globally.