COLUMBIA, S.C. — Cargill Protein announced an investment of $4.2 million at its Columbia, South Carolina plant to expand grinding capabilities for beef customers in the Eastern United States.

The investment includes precision grinding equipment that assures consistent, high-quality ground beef products for customers. Once installed in May 2018, the equipment expands the plant's production by 15 percent.

“Cargill purchased the Columbia facility in 2016 and today we have more than 200 Columbia employees delivering high-quality beef to our US customers,” said John Keating, president, business operations and supply chain, Cargill Protein. “This investment shows our commitment to the beef industry in the Eastern US and allows us to deliver on the increasing needs of beef customers in the region, through the installation of higher performance production technologies.”

In the past two years, Cargill Protein has invested approximately $850 million across the US and Canada, including a$111 million cooked meats plant conversion in Nebraska,$27 million egg processing facility expansion in Michigan,$50 million distribution center at its Kansas beef plant,$146 million expansion of a cooked meats facility in Tennessee, and acquisitions of meat processing facilities in Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee.