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Praise for Mountaire's Chicken Plant Expansion

by 5m Editor
5 November 2010, at 9:43am

DELAWARE, US - Governor Jack Markell took a detour en route to Return Day yesterday (4 November) to applaud a newly approved Mountaire Farms plan for a $34.5 million factory expansion in Millsboro that will convert poultry processing leftovers into marketable proteins.

The company said the operation will create 31 new jobs by December 2011, boosting its Sussex County employment to 3,600 and recycling wastes into products for the poultry and pet food industry and other users, reports Delaware Online.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary, Collin P. O'Mara signed a Coastal Zone Act approval for the project on 3 November.

Mountaire's operation will collect blood, feathers and unused chicken parts from the company's Millsboro and Selbyville plants as well as farms and hatcheries in the region, then process them into poultry meal and feed-grade fat for a variety of uses.

In exchange for an industrial expansion permit in the protected Coastal Zone, the company plans to convert boilers from oil to natural gas, install new odor controls and complete wastewater treatment plant upgrades that cut pollution releases by more than 60 per cent.

Governor Markell said in a statement: "It's fitting that just a few hours before and just a few miles away from where people will, at Return Day, literally bury the hatchet and move past the political season, we're together to talk about jobs. Mountaire is a critical part of our state's economy and we are so glad to see their strong commitment to this community renewed."

Paul Downes, president of Mountaire Farms, said that the project was "paramount in solidifying Mountaire's total integration poultry business in Delaware".

The Delaware Economic Development Office provided a $787,500 grant from the Delaware Strategic Fund for the project, according to Delaware Online. Delaware's poultry industry has long ranked as the state’s largest agricultural employer.