AMES, IOWA — The Barilla Group has completed the $65 million expansion of its pasta plant and integrated durum mill in Ames. The expansion has boosted the facility’s production capacity to 200,000 metric tons of dry pasta per year.

The project added two processing and packaging lines, a rail-yard expansion and six new silos to store wheat. Barilla’s Ames facility, which previously employed 173, now employs 214 and operates eight production lines.

"Pietro Barilla had a vision for our company to bring to the U.S. high-quality, healthy foods inspired by the Italian, Mediterranean lifestyle," said Claudio Colzani, chief executive officer of Barilla Group, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "Over 20 years ago, we were drawn to the unparalleled work ethic of Iowans, the agricultural know-how of Iowa State University and the proximity to favorable rail access as well as the critical regional supply of wheat. Barilla began U.S. production in Iowa in 1998, and we haven't looked back. Our continued investments in this facility reflect our deep commitment to the Ames community."

This expansion follows a recent addition to the Ames facility in 2015, which added 23 jobs and two new production lines for gluten-free pasta.