Canadian poultry groups Olymel and Westco have started construction on a C$40m (US$40.8m) poultry slaughtering and cutting plant.

The Sunnymel facility will be located in the village of Clair in the Madawaska region and is expected to create around 250 jobs. 

Once in operation, the facility will have a slaughtering capacity of 450,000 birds a week. The work will be carried out in two phases and is expected to take a year to complete, Olymel said.

The first phase will consist of site development and is expected to be completed on 1 November this year. Phase two will include construction including foundations, installation of water conduits and the construction of buildings and will begin this autumn.

The plant will occupy an area of approximately 6430 m2 on a 250,000 m2 plot.

"As partners, we have done our homework. We have always believed that the union of a large processor and distributor firmly established in Canada, such as Olymel, with the largest poultry producer in New Brunswick, Groupe Westco, was the best solution for the future of the poultry industry in the Maritimes," Olymel president and CEO Réjean Nadeau and Westco president and CEO Thomas Soucy said in a joint statement.