Tyson Foods will have more time to complete work on its $30 million improvement project. The Sherman Economic Development Corp. approved an update to its $1.5 million performance agreement with Tyson to give the company more time to complete updates intended to modernize the facility.
Tyson will now have until the end of 2021 to complete the improvements under the terms of the agreement.
“Nothing changes with the money part of the agreement,” SEDCO President Kent Sharp said Tuesday. “It is the scope of the project that changed.”
The new agreement comes as Tyson has shifted the scope of its project away from an expansion of the plant toward completing the project within the existing footprint of the facility.
When SEDCO originally approved the incentive of $1.5 million — 5 percent of the proposed project cost — in late 2018, the project initially included an investment in new equipment along with an 80,000 square-foot expansion of the facility. The new equipment would allow the plant to add additional production lines while also modernizing and automating some of the processes.
However, it was determined in planning that the expansion was not necessary and that the improvements and new lines could fit within the existing facility. Despite the changes in scope, Sharp said Tyson will still be investing $30 million in the plant project.
The change of scope for the project has led to delays in the project, and that necessitated the adjustment of the timetable for the project. Initially, the expansion was projected to be completed by September 2020, with an agreement end date of May 2021.
With the updated agreement, Tyson will have an additional seven months.
Sharp said he was in favor of the agreement as it represented a commitment and investment by Tyson in the Sherman market. Through the agreement, Tyson is expected to retail 1,703 employees.
“New lines and a $30 million is a huge investment and it shows they are serious about Sherman,” he said.
The new technology and modernization also represent a commitment by the company as it represents Tyson bringing the facility into the modern age.
“I like to see that because about 10 years ago economic developers started hearing the term advanced manufacturing,” Sharp said. “Any manufacturing that isn’t becoming advanced manufacturing is becoming extinct.”