Diamond Foods plans to expand its production facility for Kettle brand potato chips in the US state of Oregon.

The expansion will increase capacity at the Salem site by 25%, create more than 15 new jobs and cost the company US$8.4m, Diamond said yesterday (16 August).

The company said the expansion will help broader distribution of its Kettle products on the West Coast and in the Southwest.

Construction is set to begin in the third quarter of 2010 and be completed in the second quarter of 2011. The project is a public-private sector partnership between Diamond Foods and a number of Oregon government development groups.

“Kettle Chips was founded in Salem, and Diamond Foods is proud to be able to expand its commitment to the community by investing over US$8m to create new jobs and better serve our customers and partners,” said Michael Mendes, Diamond chairman, president and CEO.

Diamond bought upmarket crisp maker Kettle Foods from private-equity firm Lion Capital for $615m in February.