ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG) has announced an estimated $200 million expansion of its Lamb Weston frozen potato facility in Boardman OR. This strategic investment will add a new line to the plant—increasing capacity for making french fries and other frozen potato products—and is expected to create approximately 100 jobs for the region.
As consumer demand for frozen potato products continues to grow both domestically and internationally, this capacity increase is needed to fulfill Lamb Weston’s customer growth projections, particularly the growth expected from international markets.
“Our need to expand is a testament to our strong customer partnerships, our great-tasting french fries, and the outstanding work our employees do every day to create food people love,” said Rick Martin, vice-president, global operations, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston. “This expansion also reflects our confidence in the region’s growers to deliver high-quality potatoes while working with state and local government to ensure long-term, sustainable growing practices. We specifically appreciate the efforts and support of the Columbia River Enterprise Zone, Port of Morrow, city of Boardman, Morrow County, and the state of Oregon and are proud to be an active part of this thriving community.”
Construction of the 192,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art addition is expected to begin in early 2013 with completion in 2014. The expansion does not alter ConAgra Foods’ fiscal 2013 capital expenditure guidance.
ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston is one of the largest employers in the Columbia River Basin. The company operates seven facilities in the region employing nearly 4,500 people, including 500 employees in Boardman and 500 in Hermiston OR.
With easy access to the Port of Morrow, the Boardman facility is situated to support both domestic and international growth plans of Lamb Weston customers. Proximity to prime growing and shipping operations also helps reduce transportation needs, supporting Lamb Weston’s efforts to shrink its carbon footprint. The existing Boardman facility is EPA Energy Star-certified as a result of employee efforts to reduce energy, reuse water, and increase recycling.