CHICAGO — The Kraft Heinz Co. has announced plans to invest £140 million ($198 million) at its plant in Kitt Green, UK, Europe’s largest food manufacturing facility. The investment in the facility in the northwest of the United Kingdom would be Kraft Heinz’s biggest in more than two decades in an existing manufacturing site outside of the United States. The proposed investment is subject to final US approvals from Kraft Heinz later in the year.

Kraft Heinz currently produces about 1.3 billion cans of food per year at the Kitt Green plant, including Heinz Beanz, soups and pasta. With the investment, the company said it will focus on further modernizing the manufacturing capabilities of the site over the next four years, primarily focused around three key pillars: bringing Heinz iconic sauce (ketchup, mayonnaise and salad cream) manufacturing back to the United Kingdom to build additional European capacity; further upgrading machinery; and driving the plant to deliver its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) commitments.

According to Kraft Heinz, Kitt Green will become “much more of a modern facility” following the upgrades, producing premium products of higher quality with its new machinery.

The upgrades also are expected to allow the company to cut back on the use of non-renewable sources at the plant, producing items that are fully recyclable and ultimately helping to considerably reduce the site’s CO2 footprint, aligning with its ESG commitments.

“This is a very exciting time for Kitt Green, and I am proud that the potential for the site to grow and modernize is being recognized,” said Luis Spinardi, site director at Kitt Green. “As a result of this proposed investment, we are now in the fortunate position where Kitt Green can become a much more modern facility and our teams will have the ability to adopt more contemporary ways of working whilst exemplifying the highest global standards for food manufacturing. Not only are we excited to be expanding our product mix by bringing sauces back to the UK but also look forward to a more efficient facility with a sustainable future. Consumers remain at the center of everything we do, and this was particularly evident during the pandemic. I would like to thank all our teams for their relentless dedication, commitment and resilience throughout the year helping to feed the nation. We are proud to continue our journey as a motivated team to reach our common goal of establishing Kitt Green as a world class manufacturer, delivering exceptional performance in everything we do.”