US-based meat firm Smithfield Foods is set to build a new distribution centre and expand the blast cell cold storage capabilities at its processing facility in Tar Heel, North Carolina, with a $100m investment.

The investment is expected to create nearly 250 jobs.

Smithfield also anticipates that new employment opportunities will also be generated within its logistics partner.

Smithfield Foods president and chief executive officer Kenneth Sullivan said: "This expansion reflects the promising new era we're experiencing at Smithfield.

"This project will help us accomplish both goals while better serving our customers in the southeastern US."

"It supports our continued growth and helps us better serve our customers by providing additional capacity and optimising our distribution footprint."

The new distribution centre will cover 500,000ft² of space and can hold 47,000 pallets. Construction on the facility will begin later this month.

Expansion of the blast cell cold storage was announced earlier this year, and the construction is already underway. Upon completion, the cold storage capacity of the facility is expected to be increased by 140Mlb.

Both projects will be completed by next year.

Smithfield Foods supply chain and direct store delivery senior vice-president Dennis Organ said: "At Smithfield, we're constantly evaluating strategies to achieve greater operational efficiencies and make our supply chain more sustainable.

"This project will help us accomplish both goals while better serving our customers in the southeastern US."

Smithfield's Tar Heel facility currently has a workforce of nearly 5,000 people and processes more than 30,000 hogs on a daily basis.

It is also the world’s largest pork processing plant that produces fresh pork products for customers worldwide.