RICHMOND, Va. – Smithfield Packing Company Inc., a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, plans to begin its planned closure of a Portsmouth, Va. hot dog and lunch meat production facility, according to news reports. The company announced the closure this past November.

Layoffs are expected to begin at the Portsmouth plant in January, and the facility will be closed by the end of March 2013. The first round of layoffs will impact 120 workers. More than 400 employees will be affected by the plant closure.

Smithfield Packing plans to shift production from the closed facility to its plant in Kinston, NC. The company determined the facility, which was built in the 1970s, cannot support the changes in manufacturing technology and product development necessary to meet the company's needs.