Glanbia Cheese, the joint venture business between Glanbia plc and Leprino Foods, announced plans to build a new, world-class mozzarella cheese manufacturing facility in Portlaoise, Co Laois, Ireland.

The facility, situated in the established Togher National Industrial Estate in Portlaoise, will feature a production capacity of 45,000 tons per annum, and create approximately 78 full-time jobs, with an additional 250 jobs during the construction phase.

The project is expected to begin production in 2020.

The new scalable facility will provide bespoke cheese solutions for customers across Europe.

"We are pleased to announce plans to build this new facility for Glanbia Cheese. Our partnership with Leprino Foods has been very successful for both partners to date, and we are very positive about the potential of this new venture,” says Siobhán Talbot, group managing director of Glanbia. “We have worked closely with Enterprise Ireland on this project, and are very appreciative of their support and commitment. We now look forward to moving the project on to its next phase."

"This new plant in Portlaoise is an exciting project that will not only expand our thriving partnership with Glanbia, but will take advantage of our combined experience, knowledge and strengths to build a state-of-the-art facility to meet consumer demand for mozzarella cheese,” adds Mike Durkin, president of Leprino Foods. “It also reflects a desire to increase our presence and benefit from having a facility that is in close proximity to the growing European markets."