Ferrero Russia has hired a German construction firm, Hochtief, to build a confectionery plant near the Russian city of Vladimir.

The facility, which will be located about 180 kilometres to the east of Moscow, represents an investment of EUR91m (US$142.6m) in the Russian market.

Currently, Ferrero imports all of its chocolate products into Russia and this will be the company's first manufacturing facility in the country.

When contacted by just-food, Ferrero reinforced the importance of the Russian market, which is the company's fourth largest after Italy, Germany and France.

"We have greatly expanded our presence in Russia after our entry in 1995," a spokesperson for the company said.

Construction is expected to be completed towards the end of 2009, Hochtief said in a statement.