French dairy and baby food giant Danone has confirmed plans to invest RUR2.8bn (US$85m) at its Yalutorovsky facility in Siberia.

A spokesperson for the company told just-food today (29 July) that work on upgrading the plant, located in Russia’s Tyumen region, will begin this year and continue to 2015.

“Danone’s strategy is indeed to increase Russian’s fresh dairy per capita consumption, which is today around 6.3 kg/person/yr (vs. France at 36 kg/person),” the spokesperson said.

Danone said the objective of the facility upgrade was to enable the plant to produce modern dairy products, such as yoghurts, functional drinks and desserts. Brands produced by Danone in Russia include Activia, Danissimo and Prostokvashino.

Production capacity is expected to increase by around 40% to 1,000 tons of milk per day on completion. Investment will also include the construction of new sewage treatment plants, a new boiler, and the separation of milk collection.

Danone claims to be the leader of the dairy market in Russia, particularly in modern dairy. It currently operates 22 plants in the country, but only one in the Moscow region produces Danone’s “modern assortment” for the whole of Russia, it said.