TWIN  FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)- A Portuguese fruit processor announced plans to build its first United States facility in Southern Idaho. The Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization made the announcement this morning.

Frulact Group says it will build a 200,000 square foot fruit preparation and processing plant in Rupert, Idaho. Plans are to break ground later this year and open in the fourth quarter of 2014. About 100 people will be hired when the facility is in full production. More jobs are expected as business grows.

“We are thrilled to build our first U.S. location in Rupert,” said Joao Miranda, CEO and Co-founder of Frulact. “After looking at locations in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada, we selected The City of Rupert because of the sense of their community, and a commitment that Rupert is ready and currently in position to guarantee that Frulact can start immediately with the construction of our factory in order to meet our objectives. We feel that Rupert can best fit our needs and requirements to invest in this new industrial site. The City of Rupert is superbly located for the Frulact facility and therefore is ideal to serve our key customers throughout the United States. We look forward to operating in Rupert and getting established in the US production and distribution market,” he said.

“I had the opportunity to meet with members of Frulact’s senior management team, and I was impressed by their professionalism, knowledge and commitment to excellence – in their company, in their product, and in their partners,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “I’m very happy to welcome them to Idaho now not as a visitor, but as a valued corporate citizen.”

Frulact makes custom fruit products for companies that deal in dairy, beverages, ice-cream and industrial pastry markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.