ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston
to build sweet potato plant
Aug 8, 2009 12:37 PM
ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston plans to build a new, environmentally friendly processing plant near Delhi LA, designed primarily to process sweet potatoes from the region into fries and related products. The new plant is scheduled to open in November 2010, and will create approximately 275 jobs when it does. Future expansion could increase the total number of jobs created to more than 500.
“We’ve learned from our extensive experience with sweet potatoes that they require special handling and processing,” said Jeff DeLapp, president of Lamb Weston. “This new processing plant is uniquely designed to enhance the quality of our sweet potato products in the most efficient way.
“Lamb Weston is already a leading provider of frozen sweet potato products to restaurants and retailers around the world, and we look forward to continuing to grow that leadership position with this significant investment,” said DeLapp.
The plant will be one of the first food plants in the nation built from the ground up with the newest and best processing and packaging technologies in the industry, and will follow LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for environmentally sustainable construction. The plant’s sustainable building design will provide a reduction in energy usage and water conservation. In addition, the plant’s design will incorporate natural lighting and minimally irrigated landscaping. The plant design has been registered with the United States Green Building Council.
Lamb Weston markets sweet potatoes to restaurants under the Sweet Things brand. The company also offers a line of all natural sweet potato products under the Alexia brand through supermarkets and specialty stores.
Initially, the company will spend about $155 million building the plant. The company’s total investment in the plant could exceed $200 million by 2014 if growth plans are met.
As part of the state’s incentive package, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston will receive a grant of $32.4 million to $37.4 million toward site infrastructure and plant processing equipment from the Mega-Project Development Fund, if all performance measures are met relative to capital investment and payroll commitments.
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