Tyson Foods Inc. is reestablishing Richland County operations with a $55 million investment in an idle Bluff Road plant expected to create 330 jobs in the next three to five years.
The facility, located at 1970 Bluff Road in Columbia, will be transformed into a meat portioning and packing operation that will produce retail-ready packages of sliced beef and pork, as well as ground beef, for grocery stores in the eastern U.S.
Operations are expected to begin in May, according to news releases from Tyson and the S.C. Department of Agriculture.
“We’re pleased to bring operations back to Columbia and are very grateful for the strong state and local support we’ve received for this project,” said Nate Hodne, senior vice president and general manager of the portioned protein innovations team for Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods. “Once operational, this new facility will help us meet growing demand from our retail customers with high quality, pre-cut, pre-packaged fresh beef and pork.”
Tyson will initially invest $42 million in the plant with additional investments in facility improvements and production equipment planned. The 330 jobs will more than double the number of employees who previously worked at the facility, which closed in August 2020.
“County Council is delighted to welcome Tyson Foods back to Richland County this year,” Richland County Council Chair Paul Livingston said in a news release from the county. “The 330 jobs created by their new operations will be crucially important to residents in our community, especially in the face of the national economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Tyson Foods Inc.’s reinvestment in the Columbia plant highlights South Carolina’s strategic and geographic importance to agribusiness,” S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said. “As we continue to grow the agribusiness industry in the Palmetto State, we’re happy to have Tyson as our partner.”
Tyson Foods’ case-ready beef and pork business operates plants in Iowa, Tennessee and Texas, with a new Utah facility planned this year.