June 19, 2018 / 9:35 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-NZ's Synlait Milk says plant commissioned for 2019-20 season

(Adds capacity details of plant, CEO comment)

June 20 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s Synlait Milk on Wednesday said its milk powder plant at its site southeast of Auckland would be commissioned for the 2019-20 season.

The nutritional spray dryer will be capable of producing a full suite of nutritional, formulated powders and capacity has increased to 45,000 metric tonnes (MT) from an initial 40,000 MT as the company eyes greater customer demand.

Synlait said the initial capital investment at the nutritional manufacturing site in Pokeno, New Zealand is expected to be about NZ$250 million ($172.40 million), adding it has the capital required to fund the programme.

The Pokeno site - about 60 km southeast of Auckland - will produce infant-grade ingredients while it obtains regulatory registration for infant formula base powder production.

“Additional capacity and capabilities may be added in future as Synlait seeks to develop the site to a similar level as Synlait’s Dunsandel site over time”, said chief executive John Penno.

In April, the dairy company signed a supply agreement to fund an investment of about NZ$18 million to double manufacturing capacity of lactoferrin, a milk protein commonly used in infant formula, at its facility located in Dunsandel, New Zealand. ($1 = 1.4501 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by G Crosse)

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