A man sorts lobsters at Ready Seafood on Thursday April 28, 2016, in Portland, Maine. Credit: Matt McClain | The Washington Post

Ready Seafood has been approved to move ahead with its plan to build one of the country’s largest lobster processing plants in Saco.

Earlier this week, the city’s Planning Board unanimously granted the Portland-based seafood dealer site approval for a plant that the company hopes will meet the need for commercial lobster meat processing in Maine.

[New Maine lobster processing plant to be among largest in US, keep work in-state]

The planned 40-acre Saco campus will include space for processing and tanks to keep live lobsters for shipping. It will rival Maine’s largest existing facilities in both capacities, the business’ co-owners, John and Brendan Ready, said in the spring.

The company plans to eventually hire 40 to 50 people at the Saco plant, bringing its overall staff to about 250 employees, according to the Portland Press Herald, which first reported the Planning Board’s vote. A company representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

The key approval comes as the Ready brothers are finalizing the sale of their business to a Canadian specialty foods company, Premium Brands Holdings Corp.

[Canadian distributor to buy Maine lobster company]

Even as the company is set to become part of a international organization, local leaders are hopeful that the new plant will help boost the economy in Saco. The city is among the areas that Gov. Paul LePage designated as eligible for certain tax breaks in the spring under the federal Opportunity Zone program.

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