German sweets giant Haribo has announced plans to invest around €300m ($326.5m) in a new domestic production plant in Neuss, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region.

The site will be used to produce Maoam chewy sweets, as well as Haribo fruit-flavoured gums.

Some 14 hectares of land are looking to be acquired for the new site at the Neuss-Holzheim industrial park.

Construction “could” start as soon as next year, Haribo said, and is estimated to be complete by 2028.

While the Starmix producer already owns a plant 5km away from Neuss-Holzheim on the Jülicher Landstrasse, it said this space cannot be expanded to be “sustainable” and “future-orientated” and meet the growing the demand for Haribo products, making a new site necessary.

Neuss-Holzeim is expected to have double the capacity of Jülicher Landstrasse.

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Once operational, the new site will be used alongside Jülicher Landstrasse for Moam and fruit gums production until 2030, when the latter will close. This “parallel production”, will allow employees to be trained “gradually”, according to the Goldbears maker.

As the sweets giant looks to develop a more sustainable approach to confectionery production, it also intends to make sure the new factory is “net-zero ready”, and ready to adopt hydrogen as its prime energy source.

Haribo’s investment is expected to create around 100 new full-time jobs. It is also expected to generate “numerous indirect jobs… with added value for service providers and suppliers from the region”.

Speaking about the development, Markus Riegelein, Haribo chief operations officer said: “With the new plant, we are now taking the next logical step into the future and consciously investing in Germany as a business location, our important home market”.

“The investment in a modern facility will also form part of sustainable production efforts, saving resources such as energy, water, raw materials, and packaging.”

He added that the new plant would help to move the business “into the future in a climate-friendly way – with renewable energy, fewer emissions, shorter transportation routes and a reduced carbon footprint.

“The new site in Neuss will therefore be an important building block in Haribo’s global production strategy to ensure the process is sustainable and future proofed.”

Previous factory investments by the candy manufacturer include a £22m ($28m) injection into two plants in Yorkshire in the UK in 2021, to enable the expansion of its production of reduced-sugar sweets.