Hormel Foods has announced plans to expand its Spam plant in Fremont.

Spokeswoman Julie Craven told the Fremont Tribune that Hormel will begin construction of a plant addition this summer. It will take about a year to complete.

"The project is designed to increase production capacity for the Spam family of products," Craven said.

Austin, Minn.-based Hormel would not release further information about the expansion, including whether it would create more jobs. The plant now employs about 1,400 workers.

Hormel purchased the Fremont plant in 1947 and has expanded several times since then. In October, the company bought a 19-acre parcel south of the plant for $800,000, according to sales documents. Workers have since cleaned up that land, which is zoned industrial.

Jeffrey Ettinger, president and CEO of Hormel and board chairman, told the Tribune earlier this year that the company tried for years to buy that parcel.

"We're excited to have it because obviously it is so logically contiguous to our facility, so we're going to weigh a number of different options of what we might be able to do with that," Ettinger said in January.

Hormel has asked Dodge County to close the road that runs between the existing plant and the acquired land. Highway Superintendent Alan Doll wrote in a report to the county that Hormel officials want to expand the plant and its parking lot into that area. A hearing on the request is set for Wednesday.


Information from: Fremont Tribune, http://www.fremontneb.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.