Danish meat processor Danish Crown has said it plans to close its Hjørring plant in Northern Jutland with effect from May 2005.

The company had informed workers in 2000, at the time of the publication of its restructuring plan, that the Hjørring slaughtering operations might be transferred to the new slaughterhouse in Horsens although no decision had been taken about the plant’s deboning capacity and other activities.

Danish Crown said the Horsens slaughterhouse is now in its running-in phase involving a steadily rising number of killings reaching around 75,000 pigs per week during the year. To achieve maximum utilisation of the new slaughterhouse, current slaughtering in Hjørring would have to be included, the company added.

Furthermore, investigations revealed that maintaining Hjørring as an independent deboning facility would involve considerable costs compared to transferring the activities to other Danish Crown units. Therefore the plant will be shut down.

The deboning operations are expected to be transferred to Horsens and Ringsted and to Danish Crown’s German plants and some other facilities abroad. The closure of the Hjørring plant is expected to generate savings in excess of DKK41m (US$7.16m) per year.