Eastern Kentucky will soon be home to a dairy facility being touted as “one of the most innovative dairy facilities in the world.”

Kentucky Dairy Product Innovations (KDPI) will open the dairy processing plant in Laurel County and will develop a low-calorie, lactose-free skim milk produced exclusively from Kentucky cows.

“I want to thank Kentucky Dairy Product Innovations for locating this high-tech startup in Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said in making the announcement. “KYDPI promotes a healthy lifestyle, which is something we strive for here in the Commonwealth. I look forward to seeing consumers around the country enjoying this revolutionary product.”

KYDPI will join the $1.7 billion worldwide lactose-free skim milk market. Its product will be formulated by dairies and manufacturers into new recipes to attract more health-conscious consumers, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“Through the use of our patented processing technologies, our product will contain all of the nutrients found in milk, but none of the calories associated with lactose,” said KYDPI president Matthew Clark.

KYDPI’s initial customer will be FIZZA, also based in London. FIZZA is a sparkling dairy nutrient beverage approved by the USDA for sale at middle and high schools across the country. This new beverage is being co-packed by the Prairie Farms Dairy of Somerset, and is being initially introduced into the retail space by Shaw’s Supermarkets of New England (80 stores), as well as into select national middle and high schools (113 schools in the U.S.) in September of this year.

KYDPI has entered into a lease-purchase agreement to acquire a 12,000-square-foot facility in the London-Laurel County Industrial Park off Route 80. The company plans to hire up to 20 employees and invest nearly $4 million into the project. KYDPI expects to be operational by year’s end.

“Today’s announcement is an acknowledgement of our region and our Commonwealth as a continued economic leader in agriculture, thanks to the hard work of Kentucky’s farmers,” said Rep. Tommy Turner, of Somerset. “It is my hope Kentucky Dairy Product Innovations will help lay the foundation for our future dairy farmers to lead the way in milk development, while contributing to the growth of London and Laurel County.”

“The city of London welcomes Kentucky Dairy Product Innovations,” said London Mayor Troy Rudder. “We are pleased that KYDPI is choosing to invest in our community by creating new jobs and that Kentucky dairy farmers will be a key part of this new process.”

To encourage the investment and job creation in London, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $200,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KYDPI also received financing from Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. KHIC provides financial support to entrepreneurs to encourage small business growth and job creation in eastern Kentucky.