The European Investment Bank (EIB) is financing Mlekpol, one of Poland’s largest dairy cooperatives, to support the company’s modernisation and growth strategy. The €50 million loan (equivalent to PLN 212 million) will help finance a series of investments in Mlekpol’s Grajewo processing plant – one of 12 plants the company runs across Poland. The operation benefits from the guarantee of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.
The expansion and modernisation of the production facilities will provide Mlekpol with additional capacity to process fresh milk and to counterbalance seasonal shifts in supply. The investments will also be used to construct a new warehouse and logistics centre, increasing the company’s efficiency. Finally, a combined heat and power plant to be built next to Mlekpol’s wastewater treatment plant in Grajewo and fully running on biogas will reduce the amount of sludge the company produces and eliminate its need to purchase grid electricity.
Lilyana Pavlova, EIB Vice-President, said: “This is our second loan to Mlekpol and our third to dairy cooperatives in Poland. We are convinced that by supporting sound investment plans in agriculture and the food processing industry we can help Poland to strengthen a key sector of its economy, improve its long-term competitiveness and achieve balanced territorial development. This operation is also a good example of EIB support for Polish small and medium-sized companies that have credible growth plans.”
Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture, said: “Investment in modern technology can bring great opportunities to our farmers and rural areas. I am particularly pleased to see that this project will benefit both the company and the environment as well. The farming community has an important role to play in achieving our climate goals.”
Edmund Borawski, SM Mlekpol President, said: “Our Dairy Cooperative focuses on sustainable development. The need to protect the environment has become an important factor stimulating the development of innovation. Thanks to EIB support and funds, we will introduce new, more effective solutions, for both production and the environment. We will contribute to reducing external ecological costs and being more energy efficient. We hope that thanks to EIB cooperation and expanding the portfolio of dairy products we will also help to increase trade exchange and further opportunities for the development of the agricultural sector.”