A joint venture (JV) company comprising Glanbia and Leprino Foods known as Glanbia Cheese is set to build a new mozzarella cheese manufacturing facility in County Laois, Ireland, through an investment of €130m.

The new plant will be built at the recently established Togher National Industrial Estate in Portlaoise.

Glanbia Cheese has also received backing for the proposed facility from the Irish Government via Enterprise Ireland.

"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."

The site is expected to create nearly 78 full-time jobs in the region and up to 250 employment opportunities during the construction period.

It will possess a production capacity of 45,000t per year upon completion.

Glanbia Group managing director Siobhán Talbot said: “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.

“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.”

The project is currently in the planning phase and construction works at the site are expected to begin later this year upon the receipt of planning permission.

The new scalable plant is slated to commence production in 2020 and will primarily provide bespoke cheese solutions for European customers.

Leprino Foods president Mike Durkin said: “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.

“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.”

Glanbia Cheese was initially established in 2000 and has large-scale manufacturing operations in Llangefni in Wales and in Magheralin, Northern Ireland.