Pasta giant Barilla is to spend SEK150m (US$21.3m) on revamping its Wasabröd crisp-bread production plant in Sweden.

The Italian food group wants to “modernise” the mill, dough machines and packaging lines of the facility in Filipstad.

“Wasabröd needs to continue to invest. Today I can confirm that our headquarters have given their go-ahead for extensive investments,” said factory manager Tommy Mohlin.

Last week, Wasabröd announced it would launch two more products in the US this year.

Barilla CEO Massimo Potenza said he had “full confidence” the Filipstad site would act as a “platform” for the group’s crisp-bread business.

“A sign of this is the go-ahead for further investments and the development programme,” Potenza added.

Nevertheless, the five-year initiative will see job cuts at the Filipstad site, with around 100 workers facing redundancy.

“[The] decision will not mean any immediate changes in the workforce but the development programme will result in staff redundancies during several years, starting in 2010,” Mohlin said. “Today’s forecast is that during the four- to five-year period approximately 100 jobs will be redundant and around 50 persons will retire.”