Canterbury Regional Council has approved a new dairy company's plans to build a processing factory in South Canterbury.
Oceania Dairy Ltd is looking to build a $95 million plant near Glenavy. It plans to process about 220 million litres of milk and 32,000 tonnes of milk powder annually.
The company says it is now concentrating on raising funds and the factory is not expected to be operating until the start of the 2011/12 season.
Oceania's directors include former National party leader Don Brash and Meridian Energy's former chief executive Keith Turner.
The new plant would be about 25km south of another independent dairy processor, New Zealand Dairies, which has a factory at Studholme.
Dr Turner says the company hopes to find the supplies of milk from the 50,000 cows it estimates it needs, close to hand.
He says Oceania Dairy has no connection with the companies seeking resource consents for intensive dairy farming operations in the Omarama-Ohau area.