Through its Aviko subsidiary, the company has entered into an agreement with both the Zhangye city and Minle city authorities to construct a potato processing plant in the Chinese province of Gansu. Aviko said it expected the Asian market for its potato products, particularly in China, to grow rapidly in the coming years, creating a wealth of opportunities for processors operating in the country. To better tap this demand, the company's €15m plant will give it an extra output capacity of 80,000 tonnes of dried potato products per annum. Aviko said it would be able to increase output further during a planned second phase of expansion. Aviko will be responsible for the funding, construction and management of the 60-hectare site, it stressed that cooperation with its local partners would be vital to succeeding in the region. According to the group, the Zhangye and Minle authorities will increase investment in local agriculture to improve cultivation practices and develop specific potato varieties. The plant, which is already under construction, is expected to come into operation by early 2008. Aviko plans to use the plant to produce products such as potato flakes and granules, which have a variety of uses in baking and food formulation.