A Truganina-based dairy company will expand its operations this year in a move that will create more jobs for former auto industry workers.

Nature’s Dairy Australia will extend its existing facility and purchase and install new equipment to manufacture drinking yoghurt, organic milk and whipping cream. The products will be for both Australian consumption and export.

An estimated 15 jobs will be created in the upgrade and the company plans to offer them to workers made redundant from the automotive industry. The expansion is partially funded by a state government grant.

Nature’s Dairy Australia is entirely owned by three Australian families with involvement in the dairy industry spanning back to the 1920s. The company also runs the only Tetra Pak facility in Australia from Truganina, packaging its dairy products in an aseptic manner, partnering with other businesses to use its facilities.

Tarneit MP Telmo Languiller said the expansion was “great news for Melbourne’s west”. “[The] state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the west will employ former automotive workers,” he said. “We will continue to support workers and communities affected by the closure of automotive manufacturing.”

The grant was awarded under the government’s Local Industry Fund for Transition program, which provides funding to help businesses expand operations and create jobs in areas hardest hit by the closure of automotive manufacturers.

Melton company GM Motorsport was also successful, receiving a grant for more machinery to increase its production.

Nature’s Dairy Australia was contacted for comment.