The Blue Lake Dairy Group officially opened its processing plant in the southeast of South Australia today.
Stage one of the two-stage project will enable the production of 20,000 tonnes of infant and adult formula, using powdered milk.
Stage two is expected to involve a new $50 million factory to convert milk into powder.
Demand for high quality powdered milk from Australia, which is perceived as being clean and green by Chinese consumers, has skyrocketed since 2008 when six babies died and 300,000 became ill after drinking contaminated Chinese formula.
The Chinese-owned Blue Lake Dairy Group was formed in 2015.
Blue Lake Dairy Group Managing Director Mr Wang Xin Xiang said assistance from the South Australian Government and Wattle Range Council had been valuable in helping the project come to fruition.
“The BLDG is looking forward to continuing their investment in South Australia and in their milk processing facility with the approval process for Stage 2 of the BLDG project, a new milk drying facility, expected to commence in coming months,” he said.
Investment Attraction South Australia (IASA) has helped Blue Lake Dairy Group through each stage of the $65 million project.
IASA helped the company navigate the relevant planning and development processes, access training subsidies, and worked closely with the Dairy Authority of South Australia to expedite licensing and accreditation for the production of infant formula.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the project would provide a significant boost for the local economy.
“The company’s investment demonstrates that South Australia’s regions have an abundance of unique, premium products and many opportunities for foreign investment, which creates local jobs,” he said.
“This is particularly the case in the South East which continues to play a big role in driving our state’s economy, contributing $3.6 billion in gross regional product in industries such as forestry, beef and dairy cattle, lucerne seed production and rock lobsters.”