Arla Foods has appointed a project director to oversee the construction of its much-anticipated 1bn litre ‘super dairy’ in Greater London.


Jacob Wielandt Nielsen

Jakob Wielandt Nielsen (pictured) – who has worked for Arla for more than 20 years – will be responsible for finalising the design of the dairy, appointing contractors and overseeing its construction and installation.

His most recent position was production and technology development director in the global categories and operations business group at Arla’s head office in Aarhus, Denmark.

While the new dairy will clearly shake up the market when it becomes operational in 2012, most analysts predict it will not add significant net capacity. Arla is widely expected to close plants in Ashby, Hatfield Peverel and Oakthorpe as it comes on-stream.

“The headline 1bn-litre figure is not necessarily as bad as it seems,” Shore Capital analyst Clive Black told in May. “We believe that Arla will close three plants into the new one.”

In November, Arla Foods UK chief executive Peter Lauritzen said detailed plans would be presented to the board in “early 2010” although he has yet to update the market on the precise location of the site or the detailed timetable for its construction.

However, the planning process was “well underway”, Arla insisted.