Zhongpin Inc., a leading meat and food processing company in the People's Republic of China, announced that it will further expand into north China by building a new production facility in Tangshan city, Hebei province, east of Beijing.

Zhongpin will invest about $49 million for the plant that will have an annual capacity to produce about 60,000 metric tons of chilled pork, 20,000 tons of frozen pork, and 22,000 tons of prepared pork products, for a total annual capacity of 102,000 metric tons. The facility, based on Zhongpin's proven industrial cluster model, also will include cold storage with a capacity of 6,000 tons and a cold chain logistics and distribution center. It will also serve as the foundation for additional expansion in the future.

Construction is scheduled to start in the third quarter 2011, with production of chilled and frozen pork expected to start in the third quarter 2012 and production of prepared pork products expected to start in the second quarter 2013. The payback period for this facility is around 5 years.

Xianfu Zhu, chairman and CEO of Zhongpin, said, "This expansion is our second production cluster in north China, and marks a significant step in our industrial cluster strategy. This new facility will serve the Bohai Bay area, including Beijing, Tianjin, and the Hebei province, which are important strategic markets in our expansion roadmap.

"The Tangshan facility, together with our modern and highly-standardized Tianjin facility, will constitute our new industrial cluster circle to further support the rapid growth of our company, the expansion of our cold-chain logistics network, and the overall consolidation and modernization of the Chinese pork industry,” he added.

"This new facility has an excellent location, with a sufficient supply of hogs, a developed hog breeding industry on which we can expand, and access to markets with large populations that have strong purchasing power to consume pork products in both north China and northeast China. The Tangshan area also has a sound industrial base, which is also helpful to our business,” he concluded.

Source: Zhongpin Inc.