$600 Million Facility Represents a Key Pillar in the 104-year-old Co-op's Multi-Year Plan to Expand and Modernize


Darigold's new facility in Pasco, Wash. will employ 200 and process some 8 million pounds of milk per day. (Credit: PR Newswire/ Darigold, Inc.)

Darigold, Inc. hosted a commemorative groundbreaking ceremony today at the site of its future Pasco production facility. The $600 million facility is slated to open in early 2024 and will process approximately 8 million pounds of milk per day when fully operational from more than 100 dairy farms in surrounding communities.

The Pasco facility will be outfitted with two specialized milk dryers and two packaging lines for powdered milk products (or what the dairy industry calls “premium proteins”), two butter churns, two bulk butter packaging lines (for commercial and institutional customers), and five consumer butter packaging lines.

When fully operational, the facility will have the capacity to produce some 175 million pounds of butter per year, and nearly 280 million pounds of powdered milk products annually, including products that meet the highest industry specifications for use in the most sensitive applications such as infant formula. The facility’s proximity to rail lines and global shipping ports will help the co-op realize transportation efficiencies for products going to both domestic and global customers.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), demand for dairy grew at 1.6% in 2021 in the U.S., while demand for dairy exports rose by 19%. Very few countries have excess production capacity, giving U.S. dairy producers a unique opportunity to benefit from growing global demand.

In addition to adding capacity to Darigold’s overall production capability, the new Pasco facility will incorporate a variety of innovative technologies and conservation strategies that combined could mitigate more than 300,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.

The milk dryers in the new facility will include state-of-the-art dryer burner technology that significantly reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. Use of this dryer burner technology will reduce the facility’s nitrogen oxide emissions to make it one of the lowest NOx emitting milk dryer facilities in the state. The co-op is also in talks with the City of Pasco for the planned expansion of its Process Water Reuse Facility (PWRF). The expanded PWRF will treat agriculture related wastewater from local food processors using a set of anaerobic digesters, which will generate renewable natural gas (cleaned from methane) for sale in the West Coast renewable natural gas (RNG) market.

Beyond design features that support the advancement of Darigold’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitment, the facility’s location within the multimodal Port of Pasco on the Columbia River gives it access to both rail and barge facilities, creating transportation efficiencies for the co-op.

Darigold expects the Pasco facility to be operational by early 2024, and plans to hire some 200 employees.

The groundbreaking ceremony marks the culmination of two years of collaboration between the Port of Pasco, Darigold, and several other public and private partners.

Source: Company Press Release