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Smithfield Foods has announced plans to construct a new distribution center and expand its blast cell cold storage capabilities at its processing facility in Tar Heel. The project is expected to create 250 new jobs and Smithfield will invest $100 million in the two projects.

In addition to new jobs, additional employment opportunities will be created with Smithfield’s logistics partner.

“This $100 million and 250 job expansion is in addition to the previously announced $45 million and 30 job expansion announced on May 25th, 2017. This would be the largest jobs and investment announcement in Bladen County in well over 20 years,” said Bladen County Economic Development Director Chuck Heustess.

“This expansion reflects the promising new era we’re experiencing at Smithfield,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “It supports our continued growth and helps us better serve our customers by providing additional capacity and optimizing our distribution footprint.”

Smithfield will begin construction of the new distribution center this month. The new distribution center will be 500,000 square feet with 47,000 pallet positions. The blast cell cold storage expansion, announced earlier this year, is underway and will increase the facility’s capacity by 140 million pounds. Both projects will be complete fall 2018.

“At Smithfield, we’re constantly evaluating strategies to achieve greater operational efficiencies and make our supply chain more sustainable,” said Dennis Organ, senior vice president, supply chain & direct store delivery (DSD) for Smithfield Foods. “This project will help us accomplish both goals while better serving our customers in the southeastern U.S.”

Smithfield’s Tar Heel facility is the largest pork processing plant in the world and produces fresh pork products for customers across the globe. Currently, the facility employs nearly 5,000 people and processes more than 30,000 hogs each day.

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