Smithfield subsidiary John Morrell & Co has announced a $100m construction project at its Sioux Falls pork processing facility.

The expansion is expected to add 200 new jobs when the processed foods facility is completed in the fall of 2007, it said.

The Sioux Falls plant currently employs 3,200 workers producing a wide variety of fresh pork, ham, bacon and sausage products. The planned 232,000-square-foot building will complement John Morrell's existing Sioux Falls facility and allow for greatly expanded processing capacity for ham, bacon and sausage products.

"We have been looking forward to this much-anticipated expansion of our Sioux Falls operation," said Joe Sebring, president of John Morrell.  "This project will allow us to increase our product offering to meet growing customer demands and replace our existing sausage manufacturing complex."

"From a local economic development standpoint, this project will bring 200 additional jobs to Sioux Falls and add millions of dollars to our regional economy," Sebring said.  "Sioux Falls is a great place to live and work, and we are delighted to contribute to the growth of this region."

"Smithfield Foods is proud of John Morrell and its strong focus on meeting customer demand for our products," said C Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and chief operating officer.  "The company's employees deserve special credit because their hard work and dedication in producing quality products made this investment in the community possible."

The new Sioux Falls plant will include a state-of-the-art deli-ham manufacturing system, two pre-cooked bacon lines, one pre-cooked toppings line and a replacement sausage manufacturing facility that incorporate the latest technology to enhance quality, efficiency and food safety.