ST. HYACINTHE, Quebec – Construction is underway that will add 15,000 sq. ft. of production space at Olymel's poultry-processing plant in St. Rosalie in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec.

The company said the expansion and modernization project will cost $10 million. The investment will include installation of a third cooking line, a spice warehouse, two loading docks and redevelopment of the individually quick-frozen (IQF) section. The work should be completed in April 2015.

"With this major investment, Olymel is responding to customer demand from both the retail and HRI [hotels, restaurants, institutions] sectors for pre-cooked chicken products, which save time and improve efficiency in the kitchen," said Rejean Nadeau, president and CEO. "The expansion and latest generation equipment that will be installed at the Ste-Rosalie plant will allow us to seize even more business opportunities and consolidate operations and jobs at this facility. By relying on product quality and efficient customer service as well, Olymel intends to increase its market share."

Olymel, a leading pork and poultry processor in Canada, expects to increase the production capacity of the company's cooked products facility to meet growing demand in Canada for products in this category.

"This is excellent news for our employees and our customers, because once the construction is completed, it will make a reorganization of work possible, while operations will become more efficient," said Claude Chapdelaine, plant manager. "This expansion and modernization project should enable us to reduce our operations to five days instead of the current seven, as well as retain all of our staff. By increasing our production volume by nearly 40 percent, this investment will significantly improve our ability to meet the needs of our customers and markets."

The St. Rosalie processing facility already features a boning operation. Products made at the plant include cooked and breaded chicken products such as wings, breast morsels and breast strips that are sold under the company's Flamingo brand and private labels. Currently, 420 workers are employed at the St. Rosalie facility.