H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) today officially opened its newest factory, a 344,480-square-foot tomato processing plant near Alfaro, Spain. "Heinz invested more than US$22 million to build this modern factory which will play a significant role in our growing tomato products business throughout the continent," noted Heinz President and Chief Executive Officer William R. Johnson, who inaugurated the facility along with King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia."Spain is becoming a key production center for Heinz in Europe. We are especially pleased to have forged a partnership with the local government. The new plant replaces two older facilities located nearby in the La Rioja region," Mr. Johnson told the more than 370 factory employees in attendance. Also attending the ceremonies were government officials, along with Heinz customers and suppliers.Located in the rich agricultural region of La Rioja (approximately 50 miles from Pamplona), the factory has a capacity to processes 100,000 tons of locally grown tomatoes annually. Its most popular product is the market-leading Orlando-brand tomate frito (a cooking sauce widely used in Spanish cuisine). The plant also makes crushed tomatoes, ketchup and other condiments and sauces.Heinz entered the Spanish market in 1987 with the acquisition of Orlando, Spain's number-one brand of processed tomato products. Since then, the company's product range has grown and it is one of the nation's most prominent food companies, making tomato products for Heinz's pan-European affiliates.Heinz is the world's largest tomato processor, processing about two million tons each year. Sales for Heinz ketchup and condiments reach approximately US$2 billion annually.