U.S. Markets open in 9 hrs 18 mins

Russia's Cherkizovo launches robotic sausage plant, biggest in Europe

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's biggest meat producer Cherkizovo (GCHE.MM) said on Tuesday it has launched a fully automated meat processing plant in the Moscow region, the largest of its kind in Europe.

It has invested around 7 billion roubles (85.33 million pounds) in the project since construction started in 2016.

Cherkizovo said it has installed robotic lines which "interact between each other", taking control of the whole production line at the plant which employs around 170 people. A spokeswoman for Cherkizovo said the number of staff is several times less than at other such plants, declining to give specific numbers.

Equipment from Italy, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Great Britain and Switzerland is fitted at the plant, which will produce smoked sausages. Cherkizovo expects production of up to 30,000 tonnes per year.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)