Arla inaugurates its biggest dairy investment to date to support growing global demand for affordable dairy nutrition
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- 4 min
- 30 May 2022
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Today, Arla officially inaugurated a new production plant at Pronsfeld dairy in Germany. The expansion is Arla’s biggest dairy investment to date and a key driver to meet the growing in-ternational demand for sustainable, affordable and nutritious dairy products.
To help bridge this cap, Arla has invested EUR 190 million in the expansion of its dairy in Pronsfeld, Germany to increase the production of primarily milk powder. Pronsfeld is Arla’s largest dairy, and the investment is the company’s biggest single investment in a site. The expansion will support the expected annual branded volume growth of 5-7% in Arla’s international business in line with the company’s five-year strategy called Future26.
The expansion of Pronsfeld dairy includes a production plant that holds a 51-meter-high drying tower as its centerpiece and can process 685 million kilos of milk per year, creating an end-product of around 90,000 tons of high-quality milk powder. Due to the nature of milk powder and its long shelf life, it is particularly suitable for Arla’s international markets, where milk powder is an integral and important part of the local diet, especially in fast-growing urban areas.
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.
"I am very pleased to inaugurate the expansion of our Pronsfeld dairy today. 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," says Peder Tuborgh, CEO at Arla Foods.
“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. 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,” says Executive Vice President and head of Arla’s supply chain, David Boulanger.
The construction of the production plant was initiated in 2019. Today, Pronsfeld dairy employs 1000 people and produces dairy products to around 70 countries globally.
Focus on sustainability
Arla is committed to creating a sustainable future for dairy. Arla’s farmer owners are already amongst the most climate efficient dairy producers in the world with an average carbon footprint of only 1.15 kilo CO2e per kilo of milk. In its operations, Arla is also committed to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees and is one of the first farmer owned dairy companies in the world to have its 1.5 degrees target for operations of 63 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions approved by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) under the Paris Agreement.
The expansion of Pronsfeld dairy is set to deliver towards the new ambitious climate goals within operations with an improved sustainability profile and energy efficiency. A new technical setup for electricity and heat generation, called a CHP, and process cooling will reduce the carbon footprint and electricity consumption with about 1,800 megawatt hours of electricity and about 1,200 tons of CO2e per year for the whole dairy site compared to a traditional cooling solution.
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% of the natural gas used in the new technical setup with hydrogen in the future, which would further reduce the carbon footprint in line with the company’s ambitious climate target.
Worldwide, Arla is currently present in more than 140 countries with annual sales in its international business unit of 2,1 billion euros last year.
Facts on the Arla Pronsfeld site:
- Size: The total area covers around 55 hectares, equivalent to 77 soccer fields. Largest Arla production site worldwide and one of the largest milk plants in Europe.
- Employees: Around 1,000 employees, around 30 apprentices in 10 vocational jobs.
- Milk suppliers: The milk comes from Arla farmers in the area of Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, Luxembourg and Belgium with Wallonia and Flanders.
- Processed milk volume 2021: approx. 1.5 billion kg of milk processed
- Worldwide export: around 70 countries around the globe, including China, Kuwait & the Mal-dives. Important location for the Arla Group's international business.
- Products: specialized in long-life dairy products: drinking milk, cream, mixed milk drinks, condensed milk, sour cream as well as milk powder, butter and spreads. The facility also manufactures products for business-to-business to the food industry, which processes milk powder into chocolate or baked goods, as an example.
Facts on the new drying tower for milk powder production in Pronsfeld:
- Investment: total investment of 190 million euros in around three years.
- Construction period: 2019 - 2021. Initial operation: Spring 2022.
- Plant capacity: 685 million kg of milk (approx. 90,000 tons of milk powder), height of tower: 51 m.
- Major project: a total of around 12 construction sites on the whole site over the course of the project. From the expansion of the milk collection area and milk tanks to the energy supply and wastewater treatment plant.
- Products: The milk powder produced is branded and marketed under brand names such as Arla Dano.
Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by more than 8,900 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck® and Castello®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.