Cherkizovo, the Russian meat processor, is implementing a “major investment project” to expand its pork production capacity by 58,000 tonnes per year.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding with officials in Russia’s Penza region to open seven pig fattening facilities with capacity of 280,000 pigs per year by the end of 2017. The move will create more than 100 jobs in the region. Total investments in the project are expected to exceed RUB5.6bn (US$8.6m).

“Penza Region is a prime production cluster for Cherkizovo Group,” Cherkizovo chairman Igor Babaev said. “We have implemented a unique project here to double capacity at the Vasilievsky poultry factory, started up a new grain storage facility in Kamensky district, and are planning to make substantial investments in new production facilities in future… Now it’s time for pig breeding, where we can use all of our long experience and become the first agro holding in Russia to implement innovative world-class technologies in the agricultural industry of Penza Region.”