BEIJING, CHINA — Zhongpin Inc. has begun constructing a new cold-chain distribution center in Changge, Henan province, China. The new complex will include a 25,000 square meter multi-temperature hybrid refrigeration facility, quality-assurance centers, a fresh food processing and sorting plant and other associated operations. It will also be integrated into Zhongpin's advanced information technology system.

Zhongpin will spend about $16.2 million on the new center, which should be completed and begin production in December 2010. The expected payback period for the new center is 5.8 years.

"Combined with our other distribution centers, this new cold-chain center will strengthen our advantage as the only supplier in China that distributes 100% of its food by using an advanced cold-chain logistics system,” said Xianfu Zhu, chairman and chief executive officer. “With all of our distribution centers, plus our 500-plus refrigerated delivery trucks that are equipped with G.P.S. and automatic temperature control systems, we will continue to provide chilled pork and fresh food to our customers with the highest quality and safety.”

More than 70% of the capacity in the new distribution center is expected to be used to provide services to third-party organizations, with Zhongpin using about 30% of the center's capacity.

Zhongpin Inc. is a meat and food processing company specializing in pork and pork products, vegetables and fruits in China. Its distribution network in the China covers 20 provinces plus Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing and includes more than 3,000 retail outlets. The company’s export markets include the European Union and Southeast Asia.