A YEAR on from unveiling its plans for a state-of-art abattoir at Murray Bridge, Thomas Foods International has been given the green light by the local council.
The Rural City of Murray Bridge Council Assessment Panel today granted planning approval for the project to be built on a greenfield site about 10 kilometres north of the town.
At the same time the council also announced the tender for completing road access to the site had been awarded to Downer EDI Pty Ltd, in conjunction with Spry Civil Construction, with work to commence within days.
The several hundred million dollar abattoir will replace the plant destroyed by fire in early 2018 and will have the capacity to process up to 1200 to 1400 cattle a day and up to 14,000 sheep and lambs daily.
RELATED: TFI boss opens up on fire recovery
TFI chief executive Darren Thomas said planning approval represented another key milestone for the family company's long-term investment at Murray Bridge.
"Our project team is currently evaluating tenders received for the construction of the new plant and we expect to make a decision on awarding the contract in due course," he said.
We're very excited about the new Murray Bridge plant and the range of benefits it will bring to the local community and farmers as well as TFI.
Mr Thomas expects work to commence in the second half of the year with stage one of the build for beef processing.
"We're very excited about the new Murray Bridge plant and the range of benefits it will bring to the local community and farmers as well as TFI."
Work will also commence within days on a 2.2km link road between Mannum Road and the proposed new TFI facility. This is expected to be completed in December.
The project will include protected acceleration and deceleration lanes to facilitate safe passage for turning and a new intersection with lighting on Mannum Road.
Rural City of Murray Bridge Council mayor Brenton Lewis said building the road infrastructure was a significant step in supporting the retention of a significant employer and industry to the region.
"TFI is one of our largest employers and they are investing several hundred million dollars in a new state of the art processing facility in Murray Bridge, that will employ about 2,000 people once it's fully operational," he said.
"The impact of the devastating fire that tore through the original facility in January 2018 was felt deeply throughout our community.
"TFI has shown great loyalty to our community and an unwavering commitment to reestablishing operations in our Rural City."
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