The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €29 million loan to significantly expand dairy production capacity in Estonia.

The finance is being provided to the Baltic state’s largest cooperative based dairy producer, E-Piim Tootmine, under the Investment Plan for Europe.

The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

Dairy plant

E-Piim, which is owned by more than a hundred local farmers, was established at the beginning of the 20th century.

It is targeting zero net carbon emissions by 2040 and a reduction of 55% by 2030, including with its milk suppliers.

This loan will support the construction of a new dairy plant located in Paide which has a total project cost of around €154 million.

The development will partially replace some ageing manufacturing facilities and significantly expand existing production capacity.

It will process milk from its suppliers into high value-added dairy products such as hard and semi-hard cheese (gouda and cheddar) and pasteurised cream.

The site will also produce sweet whey powder from its own activity and from the external supply of whey concentrate.

The new plant will process up to 1,150 tonnes of milk daily, as well as 85 tonnes per day of whey concentrate.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Janusz Wojciechowski has welcomed the announcement.

“The financing will enable E-Piim to modernise its infrastructure, promote sustainable animal rearing, and reduce its emissions by 2040. This is in line with our environmental ambitions,” he commented.

CEO of E-Piim Jaanus Murakas explained that the facility is an important project for the country.

“This new dairy plant will cover Estonia’s missing raw milk processing capacity, strengthen Estonia’s dairy sector and Estonian dairy products’ competitiveness in the world market and enrich Estonian rural life,” he said.