A new $NZ400 million development at Oceania Dairy's South Island factory is in New Zealand creating more jobs in the manufacturing of milk products.
The South Canterbury-based company is a subsidiary of the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, China's largest dairy producer and the eighth largest dairy company in the world.
The upgraded facility was launched at an event in Auckland in Saturday, attended by plant manager Roger Usmar, Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley and Yili chairman and president Pan Gang.
The expansion marks the second stage of the Glenavy factory's development and takes the total investment by Yili Group to more than $NZ600 million.
The plant is an important employer in the district and the expansion showed Yili was committed for the long-haul, Mr Rowley said.
Andrew McFarlane, a fourth-generation dairyfarmer whose land is next to the Glenavy site, said local suppliers were grateful for Oceania's support during a tough year.
Mr Gang said his company was fully committed to New Zealand, as could be seen by ongoing investment in Glenavy.
The completed development is expected to provide an economic boost to South Canterbury and its milk suppliers.
The company is working with farmers to increase its milk supply to meet its growing production needs.
A set-price mechanism is being developed for a guaranteed milk price, which is expected to help farmers improve their cash flow management.
The number of farmers supplying milk to the Glenavy site has risen from 67 to 72.
Yili Oceania Dairy is launching a major recruitment drive to boost staff numbers for openings created during stage two of its development.
About 120 staff are employed at its South Canterbury factory with more than 90 per cent of them local residents.
The company planned to work with regional economic development agencies to promote local economic development.
The expansion includes a new ultra high temperature (UHT) plant, infant formula canning line, blending facilities, a whole milk powder dryer, and facilities to manufacture UHT milk products and lactoferrin.
A new premium Pro-Kido Ruihu infant formula is also being launched for its China market.
The dairy giant is working closely with Lincoln University and its research and development manager Dr Philip Wescombe is now based at the university to assist with establishing a new research and development centre.
"We consider Lincoln to be one of the finest agricultural tertiary providers in the world and we think this joint venture will generate innovation to the benefit of not only Yili Group but the wider New Zealand dairy sector," Mr Gang said.