STUARTS DRAFT, VA. — The Hershey Co. said it will invest $104 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Stuarts Draft. The expansion will create 65 new jobs and provide an approximately 15% increase in production volume and finished goods manufacturing space, Hershey said.

As part of the expansion, Hershey said it will add 111,000 square feet to the Stuarts Draft plant, including the addition of a separate 46,000-square-foot standalone building that will house the Hershey Peanut Roasting Center of Excellence. The building will be home to a new production line for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Hershey said the new roasting center will feature “the latest in peanut roasting technology and create unprecedented safety for the peanut roasting process.” The center also will create expanded roasting capacity to support the company’s roasted peanut and peanut-filling needs at other U.S. plants, Hershey said.

“The Commonwealth of Virginia and Augusta county have been part of Hershey’s success for more than 35 years,” said Susanna Zhu, vice-president of U.S. supply chain for The Hershey Co. “We are pleased to build on this partnership with our plant expansion and continue to make Stuarts Draft a key to delighting consumers across the United States and around the world with our iconic products.”

The Stuarts Draft facility is the second largest in the Hershey network, primarily producing products with peanuts.