Meat giant JBS will invest 150m reais ($28.3m) to double processing capacity at a beef plant in its home market of Brazil.

The Sao Paulo-headquartered company said the cash injection at the Campo Grande II facility in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul will enable the site to process 4,400 animals daily within a year from 2,200, while the number of employees will increase from 2,300 to 4,600.

According to the business, the move will make the facility the largest beef plant in Latin America and one of the top three for JBS worldwide.

The announcement comes as the Campo Grande II facility was approved by the Chinese government on 12 March to export beef to the Asian country.

JBS’s meat factory was one of the 38 Brazilian plants approved by China.

Gilberto Tomazoni, global CEO of JBS, said: “These 38 authorisations for China represent a gigantic step for Brazilian agribusiness. They mean growth, job creation, and income. For industry, for the countryside, for people, for commerce, for cities.”

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According to the Brazilian government’s website, with the latest authorisations by China, the number of meat plants approved to export to the country has grown to 144, from 106. Mato Grosso do Sul state previously had three beef plants approved, and that has now grown to nine.

Beef production units in Mato Grosso do Sul can now ship an equivalent volume of 2.3m animals, which is a 392% increase and quadruples the previous maximum of 467,000 head of cattle.

The Campo Grande II unit was built in 2007 and acquired by JBS in 2010. It produces 440 tonnes of meat and 136 tonnes of burgers every day.

The company said, that in addition to China, the factory can export to the US, Algeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, the EU, and Chile, among others.

Earlier in March, JBS’s US arm and Tyson Foods agreed to pay a combined $127m to settle a US lawsuit that accused the meat giants of conspiring to keep workers’ wages low.

Under the terms of the agreement, JBS would pay $55m and Tyson $72.3m in compensation.

The lawsuit, heard in Colorado, accused multiple meat companies and two consulting businesses of conspiring to artificially keep the wages of the employees low.