A new dairy company hopes to begin processing milk powder at its first plant in South Waikato from August next year.
The development group ZOAGN Ltd has lodged consent applications to build the $100 million plant at Arapuni, near Putaruru.
It says there would be significant economic benefit for the district, with the plant employing 250 workers during construction, and more than 50 permanent jobs once it's operating.
Arapuni Milk, which will run the plant, says it will export to customers in markets ranging from Saudi Arabia to Europe, Asia and South America.
Director Rob Gifford says the company will look for 90 - 100 milk suppliers and it's already had interest from farmers who could meet about 70% of its needs.