Unilever is set to expand its existing production facility in Russia, creating 500 jobs.

According to the deal, which was announced yesterday (17 October) Unilever is building a 40,000 sq m production plant on the premises of its current facility in the Tula region. The plant is expected to use produce from local farms, as well as from other Russian regions, the company said.

Unilever said it plans to invest EUR50m (US$68.5m) into the project until the end of 2014.

Sanjiv Kakkar, chairman of Unilever Russia, Ukraine and Belarus said: "The investment agreement that we signed today is another step in the strategic growth of Unilever's presence in the Russian market, concerning both sales and production."

"Expanding the facilities will not only enhance our production capacities, but will also contribute to the social and economic development of the region and provide new jobs," he added.

The governor of the Tula region, Vladimir Grouzdev, said the expansion "positively influences" the region.