A £10m extension to increase production capacity at Moy Park’s Ashbourne poultry processing site by 25% is due for completion this autumn, FoodManufacture.co.uk understands.
Plans involve the construction of a 14m-high building at the firm’s site on Airfield Industrial Estate to increase production of existing Moy Park chicken products.
Although some local residents had expressed concerns about smells, noise and congestion at the factory entrance in Blenheim Road, their pleas were ignored and planning permission was granted in the spring.
Work began almost immediately afterwards and the extension, designed by architecture practice the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP), will almost double the size of the facility.
The first stage involves installing a chiller unit with an associated plant room and portal frame. The second will see the erection of an open lairage building – where chickens are kept before being sent to slaughter – and existing buildings refurbished internally.
FWP managing partner David Robinson said: “This is a very good planning win for the client since it enables them to increase production by a quarter and maintain staffing levels in the short to medium term.”
Craigavon-based Moy Park was acquired by Marfrig in 2008 and predominantly supplies own-label and branded chicken products to retailers and caterers across Europe.
Earlier this year Moy Park launched its first tertiary brand Castle Lea, which comprises breaded, roasted and sliced cooked meat products sold in multiples and independent retailers.
The firm is also pumping significant sums into automation projects this year, including a robotic sliced meat packaging line at its Wisbech, Cambridgeshire site that will ‘pick-and-place’ product packs into retail-ready packaging.
Moy Park also control two thirds of the controversial Rose Energy/Lough Neagh Incinertor in Northern Ireland since they took over O’Kane Poultry this year.
© Food and Drink Manufacturing News – By Elaine Watson and Ben Bouckley, 15-Jul-2010