Royal Canin USA, a subsidiary of Mars Petcare Inc., announced the construction of a new manufacturing facility in North Sioux City, South Dakota. A groundbreaking event was held at the site of the new plant to mark the launch of the first phase of the project, which includes an investment expected to exceed $100 million.

The new facility is scheduled to begin production in April 2019 and will be built to meet environmental standards as part of Mars sustainability efforts, and will pursue a LEED Gold Certified designation upon completion. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nationally-accepted benchmark for designing, constructing and operating green buildings.

In the past five years, Mars has invested $1 billion in US factories and operations. Royal Canin currently operates a manufacturing facility at the site. Growth of the brand, along with projected future demand, led to the decision to expand manufacturing capacity. Expanding operations in North Sioux City demonstrates Mars’ commitment to investment in US manufacturing and to the local community, said Daniel Klapuch, site director for Royal Canin in North Sioux City, in a press release.

“We have always been proud to be a part of the North Sioux City community and to partner with the State of South Dakota,” said Klapuch. “Building our new factory here clearly shows that Mars is committed to manufacturing in the United States to meet the growing demand from U.S. pet owners.”

Royal Canin Associates and members of the local community attended the ceremonial groundbreaking. Special guests included South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, North Sioux City Mayor Randy Frederickson and Royal Canin USA President Keith Levy.

“We’re fortunate to have an outstanding corporate citizen in Royal Canin,” said South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard in a press release. “With facilities on five continents, Royal Canin could have invested about anywhere, but they chose South Dakota.”

“The city of North Sioux City is excited Royal Canin decided to continue to invest in our community and locate its new wet production facility here. Their presence will not only benefit South Dakota’s economic growth, but the tri-state area as well,” said Paige Petersen, executive director of North Sioux City Economic Development, in a press release.

Royal Canin Associates will donate approximately 10,000 pounds of cat and dog food to the Siouxland Humane Society and Noah’s Hope Animal Rescue.