Zhongpin Inc., a Changge City, China-based meat and food processing company, plans to build a new production, R&D and training complex in Changge City.
The new facility will add 100,000 metric tons of capacity for prepared pork products, including Chinese-style, Western-style, half-cooked and easy-to-cook pork products, according to the company, which is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
Adjacent to the production facility will be a new center for advanced research and development, testing, training and other support functions.
"This expansion will add capacity for our higher-margin downstream products and will serve our central China market and adjacent markets," said Xianfu Zhu, chairman and CEO of Zhongpin. "It will substantially enhance our R&D and further support our expanding market share in the growth regions of China. This new facility proves that we remain committed to doing everything possible using the most advanced technologies and processesto continue delivering new product innovations that will be desired by China's citizens, delivering food at the highest standards of product quality and safety to every customer, and delivering strong long-term returns to our shareholders."
Zhongpin plans to invest $58.5 million on the construction of the facility, excluding the land-use rights that Zhongpin already owns. More than 80% of the production equipment will be internationally sourced, according to the company.
The first phase of the project, which will add 50,000 metric tons of capacity for prepared pork products, is scheduled to start in first-quarter 2011 and to be completed by third-quarter 2011. The second phase, which also will add 50,000 metric tons for prepared pork products, is expected to be completed in fourth-quarter 2012.
The R&D, testing and training center is expected to open by fourth-quarter 2012.
Zhongpin's distribution network in China covers 20 provinces as well as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing and includes more than 3,285 retail outlets. Zhongpin's export markets include the European Union, Russia, Hong Kong, South Africa and Southeast Asia.