LAUREL, MISS. — It was on, off and now it is back on again. The board of directors of Sanderson Farms, Inc. announced they have approved plans to proceed with the construction of a new poultry processing complex in Kinston, N.C.

In April 2008 the company announced it was going to build the complex. But in June 2008 the company said it would postpone construction of the facility due to declining conditions in the chicken market.

"We are pleased that better overall market conditions, our financial performance and a strong balance sheet have put us in the position to continue to grow our company," said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer.

The Kinston facilities will comprise a poultry complex with the capacity to process 1.25 million birds per week for the retail market. At full capacity, the complex will employ approximately 1,500 people, require 130 contract growers, and will be equipped to process and sell 6.7 million pounds per week of dressed poultry meat at full production. The company expects to begin construction of the facilities later this summer, with initial operation of the new complex scheduled to begin during the first quarter of fiscal 2011. The company expects to invest approximately $126.5 million in the construction of the plant.