Walter Shafer, Project Leader for Lincoln Premium Poultry and Larry Campbell, VP of Sales for Marel Poultry shake hands on the largest single order to date for Marel. Also pictured, Ray Collison, Matt Brass and Scott Thompson. 
LENEXA, Kan. – After several years of planning and negotiating,  Marel Poultry engineers and representatives from Costco Wholesale Corp. are moving forward on the construction of the complex for Costco’s poultry processing company, Lincoln Premium Poultry. The project includes a 75,000-sq.-ft. hatchery, a 250,000-sq.-ft. processing facility and a feed mill with an estimated total cost of $300 million. Equipping the new processing plant is a milestone for Lenexa, Kansas-based Marel, as it represents the largest single order the company has ever taken.

Costco has purchased 414 acres in Fremont to house the Lincoln Premium Poultry complex with the goal of processing 2 million chickens per week. The entire supply chain will be concentrated in a 100-mile radius. The processing plant is expected to handle roughly one-third of the raw and rotisserie chicken sold at Costco nationwide.

Marel will equip the plant with the latest technology from its Atlas live bird handling system with controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) technology as well as technology for  scalding, defeathering, evisceration, chilling, cut-up, deboning, inspection and robotic packing. The entire system will be monitored by Marel’s Innova food processing software to help achieve full traceability and raise efficiency.

Plans for the poultry complex project were initially met with some resistance from some residents and development groups questioning the impact the facility would have on the area, but in July, approval and some tax incentives were approved