Danone Baby Nutrition, a subsidiary of the Danone Group, which produces formula milk for infants and toddlers, took the first steps of a $73.3 million investment plan in their production facility in Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland. As part of the investment, GEA Process Engineering received a $36.7 million order to expand and upgrade the Macroom plant.   

The design phase of the project began in February 2011 and commercial operations are expected to start by the end of the first quarter 2012.

GEA Process Engineering’s subsidiary in Ireland will manage the order from Danone and act as Danone's single point of contact for companies within GEA. The investment, which is supported by the Irish government through Enterprise Ireland, will finance an expansion and upgrade of the existing plant.

At completion, the Macroom plant will be the largest and most technologically advanced manufacturing center in Danone Baby Nutrition's global network. The expansion will result in a tripling of its capacity to 100,000 tons annually, due to the creation of a new drying line at the plant. Today, 98% of Macroom’s total production is exported and sold in more than 60 countries worldwide.

The investment is the single largest investment Danone has made in its baby nutrition division globally. The effect will be felt across a number of fronts - 40 new jobs at the plant in the areas of food science, engineering and supply chain management and an estimated additional 200 jobs in the construction phase.  

For further information, contact Paddy Kenna, managing director for GEA Process Engineering in Ireland, at +353 45 981206.

About GEA Process Engineering
GEA Process Engineering develops, designs and markets production plant equipment and processes for the dairy, brewery, food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. With sales close to EUR 1.3 billion in 2010 and 4,600 employees working in more than 40 countries, GEA Process Engineering is recognized as a world leader within liquid processing, concentration, industrial drying, powder processing and handling, emission control, solid dosage forms and sterile products and aseptic packaging. GEA Process Engineering is a business segment of GEA Group, headquartered in Germany. For further information visit www.geap.com

About Danone in Ireland
Danone in Ireland is comprised of Danone Baby Nutrition, Danone Dairy Ireland and Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition. A total of 350 people are directly employed by the Group in Ireland with at least 375 people employed indirectly through out-sourcing of logistical services, merchandising and sales. Danone manufactures products for the Baby Nutrition business in Macroom in Cork and in WexfordTown. For further information visit www.danone.ie.