Mars said 60 staff will initially be employed at the plant

Mars said 60 staff will initially be employed at the plant

Mars Inc has begun the construction of a chocolate plant in Saudi Arabia to serve markets in the Gulf.

The US group plans to spend US$210m on a ten-year project in King Abdullah City. The facility, which is scheduled to be up and running by 2014, and initially produce the Galaxy and Galaxy Jewels brands.

Mars said 60 staff will initially be employed at the plant but said it expects up to 400 employees at the facility when it begins operations.

"With our network operating at capacity, we have made the decision that this investment is the best way forward for us to create capacity. The new site will increase our capabilities and flexibility, allowing us to compete effectively in a growing market, and to deliver fresh product to our consumers throughout the GCC and beyond," Mohammed Safieddine, general manager for Mars' business in Saudi Arabia, said.

Mars already has a factory in Dubai, which produces Galaxy, Snickers and Mars bars.