Tyson Foods plans to convert an idle factory in South Carolina in order to cut and package fresh beef and pork for grocery stores along the East Coast.
The Columbia case-ready meat plant will employ 330 people and initially cost $42 million to renovate, Tyson said Wednesday. There are plans over the next three to five years to invest in improvements and new equipment, resulting in a total investment of $55 million.
The factory will employ more than double the number of workers it had when it closed in August and will expand Tyson’s output to meet increasing demand, the company said. Production should resume in May.
“We’re pleased to bring operations back to Columbia and are very grateful for the strong state and local support,” Nate Hodne, a senior vice president and general manager at Tyson Fresh Meats, a beef and pork subsidiary, said in a written statement.
Tyson has case-ready beef and pork plants in Iowa, Tennessee and Texas, with plans to open a Utah site later this year. Products that can be placed directly in grocery stores for sale are considered “case-ready.”