A Chinese consortium of investors are behind major plans to construct one of the largest meat processing plants in Ireland, near Banagher, which could create over 200 new jobs.
Banagher Chilling Limited intends to apply for permission to build a huge food processing factory and expand an existing abattoir at Boheradurrow and Meenwaun, several miles from the town.
If it gets the go-ahead from the local authority, it's understood at least 250 will be employed in the plant's construction, and over 200 jobs across the factory and abattoir once it is fully operational.
The group of investors is understood to have purchased the abattoir, which has an existing licences attached, and a large plot of land neighbouring the facility spanning roughy 55 acres.
It's believed that once an application has been lodged with Offaly County Council, the public will be invited to a launch that will explain the full magnitude of the factory development.
A planning notice for the project appeared in the local media this week.
Once up and running, it is expected that the plant will process up to 250 cattle per day, fully for export to China.
The size of the operation has been likened to the ABP meat processing plant in Nenagh with complete "farm to fork" traceability.
If approved, it could mean the biggest boost to the economy and jobs sector in South Offaly for many years.
The proposed development consists of a single storey extension to the existing abattoir (1,061 square metres) to include processing rooms, staff changing rooms, and offices, as well as an increase in roof height.
There are plans for the construction of a food processing factory; what is envisaged to include processing rooms, cold store, loading bay, chill rooms, plant rooms, staff changing rooms, staff canteen and administration offices.
The factory will measure 4,925 square metres in total, with a part first floor of 2,299 square metres.
Also Included in the proposed application are external works consisting of staff car parking grounds, service yards, and a new public road entrance that includes the widening of the existing public road.
There’s also provision for an effluent treatment compound, water storage and gas storage tanks, a truck wash bay, integrated constructed wetlands, and security hut of 23 square metres, electrical room of 168 square metres, water treatment building of 72 square metres.
There is also an effluent treatment control house of 30 square meters planned along with all associated site and landscape works on a site 19.60 hectares
The application is accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assesment Report (EIAR) and a Natura Impact Statement.