Belgium's Colruyt Group has officially inaugurated the construction of its second distribution centre in Ollignies, west of Brussels.
Walloon Vice-President and minister of economy Willy Borsus and of Pascal De Handschutter, mayor of Lessines (Lessen) attended the launch.
Commenting, Borsus said, "This investment is excellent news for the socio-economic development of Picardy Wallonia, which, thanks to its advantageous geographical position, continues to attract large groups.
"The fact that a Belgian company like Colruyt Group continues to invest in the province of Hainaut and more widely in Wallonia and Belgium is a strong and positive signal for our economy."
The new logistics centre is set to be constructed next to Colruyt's already established logistic centre, near the distribution centre of Ghislenghien and the other buildings in Halle. It will be used for the non-food range of the store formats Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay and Colruyt Prix-Qualité (France).
Some 800 employees are currently employed at the Ghislenghien distribution centre.
The company said that the €50 million investment (subsidised by the Walloon region) in Hainaut site will provide jobs for nearly 270 additional employees. It added that approximately 40 new jobs will be created by the end of next year.
Elsewhere, Jef Colruyt, CEO of Colruyt Group said, "This new distribution centre is the second phase of a large project that was started up in 2015, in close collaboration with the Walloon government, the surrounding communities and the inter-municipal authority Ideta.
"In 2023, when the site will be operational, it will accommodate 270 additional co-workers on top of the 500 people who are already working at the first distribution centre. This confirms our status of the second biggest private employer in the Hainaut province.”