Project – Whey Processing Plant – Vilkyškių pieninė
Whey Processing Plant

Kelmės Pieninė AB (a part of “Vilvi Group”), with the support of the National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania and with its own funds, implemented the project “Increasing the Competitiveness of the Company’s Production Operation” on the basis of the Lithuanian Rural Development Program for 2014-2020. The result of this project is the construction of the most modern dairy and whey processing plant in Northern Europe with a fully automated processing process, which has as well increased the number of new jobs in Tauragė region. As a result, today “Vilvi Group” is able to make sustainable use of production resources and offer the highest quality dry dairy and whey products to consumers around the world.

Investments of “Vilvi Group” in this project amounted to about 30 million euros. The project commenced in 2016, and the production of dry dairy products has already began at the end of 2017. The dry dairy and whey product drying plant project was fully completed in 2020.

“This project was initiated in order to make maximum use of the whey products generated during the production processes at our factories”, explains Gintaras Bertašius, CEO of “Vilvi Group”. “The new plant dries proteins and carbohydrates and turns them into a powder. This produces two key products – Whey Protein Concentrate 80 (WPC 80) and Permeate (from carbohydrates), both meeting the highest standards. The modern technology installed in the factory also allows us to produce whey powder and skimmed milk powder.”

Whey Protein Concentrate 80 is intended for the production of supplements for sports, used to supplement food products with proteins and for the production of supplements for the elderly. Permeate is a raw material used for the production of confectionery, beverages, or feeds. The new factory manufactures products, which have no tendency to absorb water, thus preventing them from sticking, so making ideal for transportation around the world. Today, almost 95 % of the production that is produced in the new plant is exported to various countries.

“We used to sell whey products as a raw material, now we process it to the final product. This gives us additional added value not only in terms of market competitiveness, but also in the implementation of the principles of sustainable operation, allowing us to efficiently process generated raw materials and use them in production”, says G. Bertašius.

The project was implemented in accordance with the activity area “Support for investments in processing, marketing and/or development of agricultural products” of the measure “Investments in tangible assets” of the Lithuanian Rural Development Program for 2014-2020 and financed from the EU funds. A support of 4 million euros was received. The aim of the project was to expand the infrastructure of “Vilvi Group” in order to process and use secondary raw materials, generated during the production, and increase its competitiveness in the global food industry, while adhering to the principles of sustainable business.

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