The Irish dairy firm opened an office in Shanghai eighteen months ago, and its main activity has been the supply of lactose for infant formulas.
The facility, to be located in Suzhou, just outside Shanghai, is expected to be completed in 2008. Spokesperson Geraldine Kearney told NutraIngredients.com that the company is not yet discussing its function in detail, but that it is likely to offer similar vitamin and mineral premix solutions to existing facilities in Germany and California.
Kearney said that the facility will be Glanbia's "first foothold in the Asian market", but that it is too early to give details of its aims.
It already has a presence in customised nutrient systems in Europe and the US, since acquiring Germany's Kortus Food Ingredients Services in 2004 and this September US-based Seltzer.
As to Asia, the company said earlier this year that it had also identified opportunities in higher value heat-stable whey protein concentrate, and was working with several of China's large dairies to supply the ingredient for use in yoghurts. This category that is growing by around 30 per cent each year.
Barry Fitzsimons, commercial director at the Glanbia Nutritionals Asia-Pacific office, said that dairy customers in China were looking for whey protein concentrates that could resist the high level of heat treatment used in the country to counter low safety standards.
The news of the investment in the Asian facility coincides with the announcement of another international investment for Glanbia, an investment to the tune of €22.5m over the next two years in doubling its Nigerian evaporated milk capacity and establishing a new facility to produce a broader range of beverages.
Glanbia's Nigerian operation is a 50:50 joint venture with PZ Cussons, that was established in 2003. The decision to offer up more beverages was taken in response to the fast growing Nigerian consumer products market.