Construction of a $135 million supermarket distribution centre in Truganina is set to create hundreds of new jobs.

Woolworths and Vaughan Constructions held a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the future Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) in Foundation Road last Thursday.

The project will create 200 jobs during construction and an additional 300 permanent new jobs at the centre when it opens late next year. The MFDC will deliver fresh produce and chilled products to hundreds of Victorian supermarkets, after it opens.

The centre is being built next to Woolworths meat supplier Hilton Meats’ production facility, and will replace operations which currently take place at Mulgrave Produce DC.

A statement provided by Woolworths said that having the MFDC located closer to Hilton Meats, and fresh food suppliers based in and around the west, would result in up to 3000 truck movements being taken off Melbourne roads each year and take a further 600 trucks off the West Gate Bridge each week.

Woolworths chief supply officer Paul Graham said that when the MFDC was operating at full capacity, it would process 1.5 million cartons of food each week, from more than 500 suppliers.

“We’re proud to be investing in a best-class supply chain network in Victoria, delivering fresher food to our customers, taking trucks off Melbourne’s roads and creating hundreds of new jobs,” he said.

Wyndham mayor Mia Shaw described the project as a “very important development for us here in Wyndham”.