Alabama-based Peco Foods is to invest $165 million to build a new poultry complex in Arkansas, creating 1,000 jobs and bringing significant benefits to Randolph and Clay Counties, the company announced this week.

The facility will include a feed mill, hatchery, processing plant, protein conversion facility and a water treatment plant, Peco Foods said. The whole complex will be fitted with modern equipment that will allow for efficient and safe production. The first stage of construction is planned to start in April, when the company will begin work on the feed mill. Work on the hatchery and the processing plant is scheduled to start in July. However, the company did not announce a completion date for the project.

Mark Hickman, president and CEO of Peco Foods, commented that one of the biggest challenges facing any poultry company is wastewater treatment and the conversion of byproducts in an environmentally appropriate and cost effective manner. The new facility will be a model for the industry, incorporating state-of-the-art wastewater treatment and protein conversion facilities, he said.

Hickman also expressed his gratitude to Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and his administration for their support in making the project a reality.

Peco Foods has had a presence in the state of Arkansas since 2011, when it took over the Townsends Poultry Complex in Batesville. It also operates a feed mill in Newark.