APPLETON, WIS. — Agropur earlier this month announced plans to invest $168 million to build a new facility to accommodate increased production of cheese and dairy ingredients at its plant in Little Chute, Wis. It is the company’s second-largest investment in the United States, trailing only its investment in its Lake Norden, SD, facility in 2018.

“Having a new state-of-the-art facility in Little Chute will help us solidify our leadership position in the dairy industry,” said Doug Simon, president of US operations at Agropur. “Beyond speed and efficiency, the new processes and equipment will provide greater flexibility and will allow Agropur to offer a broader line of products to meet our customers’ needs. With this new plant, we’re increasing production capacity so Agropur can help its clients live up to their brand promises.”

Agropur said the new 210,000-square-foot plant will be built just north of its existing Little Chute facility and will increase capacity and expand Agropur’s production of cheese and ingredients. In addition, the project will involve construction of a cutting-edge waste-water treatment facility that will generate energy, supporting Agropur’s sustainability efforts.

The facility’s milk processing volume should more than double, to 750 million lbs per year from 300 million lbs, Agropur said.

The expanded plant is expected to be fully operational by early 2023 and will create 54 new jobs.

“The announcement of this significant investment highlights our commitment to modernize our asset base in both Canada and the United States and expand our cheese manufacturing activities in the US Midwest,” said Emile Cordeau, chief executive officer of Agropur. “It pursues the vision behind other major projects we have carried out, such as the Lake Norden plant, which has already reached record production levels in recent months.”

With sales of approximately $5.7 billion, Agropur has grown to become the fifth-largest producer of cheese and dairy ingredients in the United States and one of the 20 largest dairy processors in the world. Agropur processes more than 13 billion lbs of milk per year at its 32 plants across North America, including 1.6 billion gallons of milk per year at its nine plants in the United States.