Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. plans to invest $47 million on a new, expanded boxed beef warehouse as part of its commitment to the continued success of its Lexington plant, company officials told community leaders.

The project, which will begin this spring, will involve construction of a 50,000 square foot warehouse on the southeast corner of the existing beef complex. Currently expected to be completed in mid-2016, it will improve the flow, efficiency and capacity of the plant’s boxed beef storage and distribution systems. It is not expected to add jobs to the plant, which employs more than 2,700 people and generates an annual payroll of $86 million.

“We’re reinvesting in our Lexington plant because it’s an important part of our beef business and we want to make sure it continues to operate successfully,” said Steve Stouffer, president of Tyson Fresh Meats.

“We appreciate the support we’ve received from our Team Members, area cattle producers and the Lexington community since the plant opened almost 25 years ago, and we want them to know we expect our facility to remain a major contributor to the local economy for many more years.”

The Lexington beef complex, which has been in operation since 1990, produces commodity cuts of fresh beef such as ribs, loins, chucks and rounds, as well as various ground beef products. These products are vacuum-packed and boxed for sale to retail and foodservice customers throughout the U.S. as well internationally. The company spent more than $2.2 billion in fiscal 2014 to buy cattle to supply the plant.

Tyson Fresh Meats is the beef and pork unit of Tyson Foods, Inc., which employs almost 9,000 people in Nebraska. In addition to Lexington, the company also has facilities in Dakota City, Madison and Omaha.

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.