Tuesday, October 16, 2018
 Darigold’s Plant Expansion is Well Underway in Sunnyside, Washington  

The Darigold plant in Sunnyside, Washington, is well underway in its $90 million-plus expansion. The 30,000 square-foot expansion is scheduled to be completed in approximately a year. Darigold is modifying receiving bays, adding milk separation and condensing equipment and adding a new dry and warehouse space, said Scott Burleson, vice president of operations, in a response to emailed questions.


The firm is forging ahead with the plans in spite of falling milk prices from record highs last year. “Globally, milk prices have dropped from the historical peaks reached last year,” Burleson said. “This does not affect the plans for Sunnyside. Dairy markets will always cycle, but we build assets for our members’ long-term milk production needs to meet the growing global dairy demand.”

The upgrades, especially the dryer, will allow the Sunnyside plant to make skim milk powder food and nutritional applications, such as baby formula.

As a result, plant capacity will increase from 5 million pounds of milk per day to 8.5 million by the time the dryer is running next spring. That means the Yakima Valley dairy farmers who are members of the Darigold cooperative family will be able to truck all their milk to Sunnyside instead of to facilities flung further throughout the Northwest.

Economic development leaders expect the plant expansion will attract other businesses, too.

For example, the Port of Sunnyside has received more inquiries about space for distribution centers since Darigold announced the plans, said Jay Hester, executive director of the port.

To make room for Darigold’s expansion, the port upgraded its wastewater treatment plant, built 40 years ago specifically for food processing discharge, to double capacity from about 500,000 gallons per day to 1 million.
The upgrades, finished earlier this year, cost $7.3 million and were funded by a mixture of loans and grants, including a $1 million Yakima County SIED grant.

The treatment plant improvements were prompted by Darigold, but also will benefit future growth in juice plants and other food processing firms in Sunnyside, Hester said. Many of them have expanded their facilities in the past two years, as well. “It’s always growing,” Hester said of his community.

Source: Yakima Herald

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (Archive on Wednesday, July 01, 2015)
Posted by bholcomb@adpi.org  Contributed by bholcomb@adpi.org