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Published July 15 2012

Opening of South Dakota beef processing plant put on hold

ABERBEEN, S.D. — The long-awaited opening of a $110 million beef processing plant in northeastern South Dakota has been delayed.

Northern Beef Packers officials had hoped to open the Aberdeen plant on Saturday. Laure Swanson, a spokeswoman for the company, tells the American News that a new opening date has not been set.

The project kicked off in 2006, but financial issues, lawsuits, local opposition, delinquent property taxes, flooding, an economic downturn and millions of dollars in liens have repeatedly pushed back the plant's opening.

The 420,000-square-foot facility on Aberdeen's south side will initially process about 200 cattle a day, eventually ramping up to 1,500 head per day from the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. The plant is expected to employ 560 people.