Darigold Inc. broke ground on its state-of-the-art milk-processing facility in north Pasco in early September.
The $600 million plant will open in early 2024 with the capacity to process
8 million pounds of milk per day, supplied by 100 dairy farms in the region. It will employ 200.
Darigold first disclosed it had selected the Port of Pasco’s Reimann Industrial center off Highway 395 for its latest plant in July 2021, after a year of private negotiations. It cited access to rail lines and global shipping ports as one of the reasons for settling on Pasco.
The port agreed to sell 150 acres to the Seattle-based dairy cooperative for $3.3 million. Taxpayers are contributing more than $11 million to support the project through a $7.5 million grant from the state for infrastructure and $3.6 million from the federal government to build a rail line between Darigold and the nearby BNSF Railway line.
Darigold, the processing and marketing arm of the Northwest Dairy Association, is owned by 300 dairy enterprises in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
The plant will process fresh milk into powdered milk products and butter. The company is implementing technology and conservation strategies to mitigate more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year.
The Port of Pasco is serving as the project’s developer. E.A. Bonelli & Associates, based in Oakland, California, designed the plant. Miron Construction, based in Neenah, Wisconsin, is the builder.