Argentine food maker Molinos Rio de la Plata is expanding its pasta production to build on its leadership of the sector.

Molinos has invested ARS75m (US$17.7m) to expand capacity at its Malvinas Argentinas facility, in the province of Buenos Aires.

The move has increased production of its Lucchetti and Matarazzo pasta brands from 60,000 to 95,000 tonnes per year.

The expansion is part of a ARS120m Argentine pesos investment plan for 2011-2012. Molinos plans to open a new dehydrated filled pastas plant in January. The factory in Villa Adelina will produce 2,000 tonnes a year.

Molinos, Argentina's second-largest food company, leads the country's pasta market. According to the consultancy firm Nielsen, the company's Matarazzo brand had 13.5% of the local market, while Luchetti had a market share of 13.7%. Meanwhile, Molinos' Don Vicente spaghetti brand accounts for 4% of the market.