Glanbia has received planning permission to build a milk processing plant in Ireland but the group declined to comment on related discussions to form a new joint venture in the country.

A Glanbia spokesperson confirmed to just-food today (24 August) that Kilkenny County Council has approved the dairy group’s proposal for a new processing plant at a greenfield site at Belview Port.

The move is part of a plan to capitalise on the deregulation of Europe’s milk market, via the abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015.

However, the construction of the new processing plant depends on the outcome of Glanbia’s discussions to sell 60% of its Irish dairy processing business, Dairy Ingredients Ireland, to Glanbia Co-operative Society via a new joint venture. In the  plan outlined by Glanbia in June, the firm would hold 40% of the joint venture, with Glanbia Co-op owning the rest.

At the time, Glanbia said: “Any new development is contingent on the final outcome of the ongoing discussions with the society.” It said discussions had made “considerable progress”, but there would be no deal before the end of August, at the earliest.

Today, a Glanbia spokesperson said that he had nothing to add to the firm’s June statement regarding the talks.