A year of expansion
Nov. 13, 2017
Processors have invested millions in renovations and new plants throughout 2017.
his year has seen several new projects and facility expansions in the meat and poultry processing industry. From adding square footage to existing plants in Wichita, Kansas, to acquiring complete companies in locations as far away as Romania, companies invested millions to increase throughput and maximize efficiency.
Tyson Foods will upgrade and expand multiple facilities throughout the remainder of this year and beyond. Increased poultry demand is pushing an expansion of Tyson’s 20-year-old Obion County chicken plant in Union City, Tennessee. Plans were announced this past August to begin a 25,000-sq.-ft. expansion in the fall. Tyson expects completion of the $84 million project by the middle of 2019.
The Union City plan includes expanding the harvesting area, adding processing lines and expanding the location’s supply chain. Supply chain enhancements will consist of expansions at the feed mill and hatchery, as well as increasing the transportation needed for support. The construction project will create roughly 300 new jobs.
“Customer and consumer demand for chicken is increasing, so we’re investing in projects that build on our strengths, expand our capabilities and increase our capacity,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry at Tyson. “Expansions like this position us to grow and support our customers.
“We’re pleased to be able to invest in such a great community,” Ramsey added. “We’d like to thank the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Dept. of Economic and Community Development, and the Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council for their assistance and support for this project.”
In addition to its facility in Union City, Tyson plans to expand the pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa. The expansion was announced on Sept. 22 and cost was estimated at $28 million. The project includes the addition of over 56,000 sq. ft. to the 540,000-sq.-ft. plant, and renovation of an existing 56,400 sq. ft.
“The expansion of our Waterloo complex is great news for our plant, our community and our customers,” Shane Miller, senior vice president of Tyson Fresh Meats’ pork division told MEAT+POULTRY in an email.