Oat processor has city approval for next step in expansion schedule

MILLVILLE – The city has approved an expansion at Oatly Inc., a factory that opened in 2019 to produce the raw material for an oat-based “milk” as well as other foods and beverages.

The expansion will add a processing line at the factory at 719 Orange Street in South Millville. Its raw product will move by an elevated pipeline to a processing and packaging facility under construction since this spring on adjacent land off Gorton Road.

The facility under construction belongs to Innovation Foods LLC, a family owned business based in Cumberland County. Oatly and Innovation Foods are partners in the development, obtaining in 2018 the first city approval for construction.

More:Swedish firm opening oat processing plant in Millville

More:Oat milk maker planning South Jersey expansion

On Monday night, the Planning Board unanimously approved a plan from Oatley to add a processing area, workshop and shed as phase one of a two-phase expansion. Several silos, approved at a prior hearing, also will be built.

The second phase will focus on adding office space and a parking lot expansion. The second phase may not start for one or two years, according to company attorney Fralinger.

The Oatley Inc. facility at 719 Orange Street in South Millville opened in 2019 to process the raw material for oat-based foods and beverages. Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021.

Fralinger said the expansion will allow Oatly to double production. The idea is to complete the work in time for the opening of the Innovation Foods plant on Gorton Road plant, he said.

In March 2021, city planners approved Innovation Foods development plan for the Gorton Road property. The land is behind the existing Oatly facility.

Phase one of the Innovation Foods project is construction of a 71,866-square-foot main plant and a wastewater treatment plant. The second phase entails a 42,420-square-foot addition and an 11,000-square foot addition, for a facility eventually encompassing 125,286 square feet.

Oatly Inc. attorney Michael Fralinger points out features of a site plan for an expansion planned at the oats processing facility on Orange Street. The plan was approved Monday night at a Millville Planning Board hearing. Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.

Oatley US Operations & Supply Inc., which submitted the site plan, is publicly traded and listed on NASDAQ company.

Oatly is a global producer of oat-based foods and beverages that opened a facility here to supply the United States market. The facility in Millville is the company’s first in the country.

Joe Smith is a N.E. Philly native transplanted to South Jersey more than 30 years ago, keeping an eye now on government in South Jersey. He is a former editor and current senior staff writer for The Daily Journal in Vineland, Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, and the Burlington County Times. Have a tip? Reach out at Help support local journalism with a subscription.

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