Dairy processing company Synlait Milk has increased the capacity to produce infant formula powder, with an investment of $37m.

The investment was used in the establishment of the new Wetmix kitchen, which will allow the company to simultaneously run both large-scale infant formula spray dryers.

The new kitchen will double the company’s annual infant formula production capacity from the current 40,000MT to 80,000MT.

It will mix dry ingredients such as dairy proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals into the liquid milk and the mixture is then dried into infant formula base powder.

Commenting on the expansion, Synlait Milk managing director and CEO John Penno said: “We were at the point where our current Wetmix facility was at capacity, and our consumer demand was continuing to grow.

“Building this new Wetmix kitchen will relieve that pressure.”

Synlait Milk was planning the project since December 2015 and began development work on the site in February.

“The new kitchen will double the company’s annual infant formula production capacity from the current 40,000MT to 80,000MT.”

The site uses automation for lifting and tipping large bags of ingredients.

Penno added: “We’re really happy with how the build went, it was a smooth process, which was completed on time and within budget, without the need to alter our day-to-day operations.

“It was really important for us to make this new facility as user-friendly as possible.

“We want our employees to be safe at work and to work under the best possible conditions.”

Earlier in November, the company opened a new $55m infant formula packaging facility in Auckland, New Zealand.