Costco Wholesale Corporation and Lincoln Premium Poultry have entered into an agreement with Marel Poultry in which Marel will provide equipment for a new poultry processing plant in Fremont, Nebraska.

The plant will be operated by Lincoln Premium Poultry, which will process chicken to be sold at Costco stores.

According to a press release, Costco purchased 414 acres of land in Fremont. The site will hold a hatchery, feed mill and the processing plant. The entire supply chain is concentrated within a 100-mile radius. The companies have set a goal to process about 2 million chickens a week. The plant is expected to have the capacity to process about a third of the raw and rotisserie chicken products sold at Costco stores across the United States.

Plans for the new plant were initially revealed in April 2015 by way of a press release from the Greater Fremont Development Council, although the current location had not yet been selected. Ground was broken on June 19 at the site where the complex is to be built. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, Costco officials, and other local and regional dignitaries were present for the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Nebraska poultry plant is expected to be in operation in April 2019.

Marel Poultry to equip new facility

The Lincoln Premium Poultry plant will be equipped with the latest technology Marel Poultry has to offer, from the ATLAS live bird handling system with controlled-atmosphere stunning (CAS) lines through scalding, defeathering, evisceration, chilling, cut-up and deboning to inspection and robotic packing. The entire system will be monitored by Marel’s Innova food processing software to help Lincoln Premium Poultry achieve full traceability and raise efficiency.

Marel stated the order for the Lincoln Premium Poultry plant is Marel’s largest single order to date.

Marel Poultry will deliver the equipment to the plant by the end of 2018.