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    Frito-Lay plans to invest $28.5 million at its Beloit plant, a move that helps retain 500 jobs and adds about 25 new positions.

    Since 2001, Frito-Lay has invested $20 million into the plant that has an annual payroll of about $32 million and has consistently been recognized as "Best in Class" in Frito-Lay's network.

    The new investment will be related to mechanical and technology-intensive equipment to expand manufacturing capacities at the 131-acre, 550,000-square-foot plant that produces six products.

    To facilitate the project, the state of Wisconsin provided $2 million.

    In addition to the expansion news, Frito-Lay announced its introduction to Wisconsin's Green Tier program. Green Tier companies voluntarily commit to heightened environmental performance standards.

    During the last five years, the Beloit plant has achieved several environmental milestones, including a 99 percent landfill-free site, reduced natural gas emissions by 27 percent, decreased water consumption by 50 percent and an overall reduction in greenhouse gases by 17 percent.

    The recent achievements and others position Frito-Lay to meet strict environmental certification by 2010.

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