Philip Morris USA plans $50M warehouse in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Marlboro cigarette maker Philip Morris USA is planning to spend $50 million for a tobacco leaf storage warehouse near Richmond.

The nation’s biggest tobacco company said Wednesday it will lease four buildings totaling 1 million square feet in Chester.

The facility is expected to be operational in 2015. It’s part of a series of warehouses the company has to store raw materials.

Philip Morris USA is owned by Richmond-based Altria Group Inc. More than half of the cigarettes made in the U.S. are manufactured at its facility in south Richmond.

The company shipped more than 129.3 billion cigarettes in 2013, down about 4 percent from the year before.

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