Lamb Weston to Increase Frozen Potato Output in Boardman
ConAgra Foods, Inc. announced on March 11 that its Lamb Weston business will expand operations at the company’s facility in Boardman, Oregon, USA. The $30 million investment will add additional processing capacity for making formed products such as hash brown patties and potato puffs. The addition of the line at the existing plant is expected to require 50 more people for the workforce, which currently stands at 390.
With continued increase in demand for frozen potato products domestically and internationally, and the increasing popularity of formed products, this capacity expansion is necessary to fulfill Lamb Weston’s global growth projections. Construction of the state-of-the-art processing line is scheduled to begin this spring, with completion expected in 2017. The added line will boost processing capacity by approximately 50 million pounds once operational.
“With the frozen potato category growing globally, we have tremendous opportunity to support our customers’ growth in the US and around the world,” said Greg Schlafer, president, of Eagle, Idaho-headquartered Lamb Weston. “To capture that growth, we need to make more products. Expanding our operations in the Columbia Basin – with access to great potatoes, people and ports – just makes sense.”
The facility in Boardman is strategically situated to support domestic and international growth, with proximity to prime growing, storage and shipping operations, and easy access to the Port of Morrow. The company opened an initial expansion of the factory in June of 2014, adding 300 million pounds of capacity with a new fry line. That $200 million project included plans for the addition just announced.
“Lamb Weston’s planned expansion shows their continued commitment to the Port of Morrow, Boardman and the Mid-Columbia region as the right place to do business,” said Gary Neal, the port’s general manager. “Their ongoing investments add good paying jobs to our region, and we are fortunate to have such great partners at the port.”
Lamb Weston is one of the largest employers in the Columbia Basin, with approximately 4,500 employees at a corporate office and seven manufacturing facilities in the region. A frozen potato industry leader, the company operates 22 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China. In addition to a wide range of value-added potato products, it supplies frozen appetizers and vegetables to restaurants and retailers around the world.