Canadian Company Plans Dairy Plant in Finger Lakes

April 13, 2015 02:27 PM
Canadian Company Plans Dairy Plant in Finger Lakes

A Canada-based agricultural company is looking to build a $12 million, 60,000-square foot facility in the Cayuga County Industrial Park in Aurelius, N.Y.

The project is being launched by the Grober Group, which has its central offices in Cambridge, Ontario. Grober representatives met with the Cayuga County Industrial Development Agency board of directors last week to announce the project, which the company anticipates will create 45 new jobs over the next five years.

The new plant would use byproducts from the Cayuga Milk Ingredients plant already in the park to create animal feed for dairy farmers. The CMI plant creates a milk permeate byproduct that the Grober Group facility can dry and mix to create an ingredient for the animal feed.

Being able to work with the CMI plant was part of what drew the company to the area, representatives from Grober Group said Tuesday.

"It became a good synergy that way," said Jurian Bartelse, vice president of U.S. operations for Grober Group. "CMI creates a byproduct, we need a byproduct like that, so it was a fit."

The strong dairy industry in the region helped, too.

"It's central New York," Bartelse said. "There's dairy to the east, west, north and south."

Grober Group has other ventures in New York as well. There's a 12,000 head veal operation north of Batavia in Elba. The group is also a partner in the operation of the Gold Medal Packing meat slaughter and processing facility in Rome, N.Y.

But this facility, he said, will be the first in the Northeast to produce this type of dairy feed ingredient.

The timeline for the project was described by Bartelse as aggressive. Grober Group hopes to have the facility open and producing product by May 2016.

Syracuse-based Hueber Breuer Construction is contracted for the project. The location will be placed on a 10-acre lot behind the Cayuga Milk Ingredients plant. The building will feature office space, a warehouse and a liquid intake area.

Bartelse told the CCIDA board that the new facility will result in less total waste being released from the industrial park, as products that have to be disposed of by CMI now can be used by the new facility.

While Grober Group representatives were unable to give a percentage of the waste they would take from the CMI plant, they estimated it would be about six truckloads of the milk permeate per day.

The project still has multiple hurdles to clear before its targeted opening date. Grober Group representatives also met with the Aurelius Planning Board, which will have to approve the project. The CCIDA is also considering incentives to help fund the project.

A public hearing on the proposed facility is expected to be held later this month.

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