July 29, 2021

Seattle-based Darigold, the marketing and processing subsidiary of Northwest Dairy Association (NDA), is building a premium protein and butter operation in the Port of Pasco in Washington state that will cut per-unit emissions by 25% compared to the company’s existing baseline. It will also create over 1,000 on-site and indirect supply chain and services jobs.

The plant will feature state-of-the-art technologies and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is a further step towards implementing the farmer-owned co-operative’s 2050 carbon neutral goals. The 400,000-square-foot facility could mitigate over 300,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

Stan Ryan, president and CEO of Darigold commented: “This future-forward investment in a next-generation dairy facility, preserves the legacy of nearly 350 multi-generational farms.”

A series of strategies from Darigold to cut emissions

Darigold will deploy anaerobic digestion technology as part of the on-site wastewater treatment strategy and use the extracted methane as a natural gas substitute thereby reducing fossil fuel use. Meanwhile plant machinery will enable heat and energy recovery and reuse. In addition, the new infrastructure is designed to accommodate future electric vehicles, including a potential conversion of the company’s large fleet of semi-trucks, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Situated within the largest industrial park in the multimodal Port of Pasco on the Columbia River, the facility will have access to both rail and barge facilities, slashing the distance trucks travel for milk pick-ups and deliveries by about five million miles annually.

Initial site development is expected to start early next year, with full commercial production targeted for late 2023 or early 2024. Construction is contingent upon “fair and equitable treatment under all-new Washington state environmental legislation” says Darigold. The company is currently assessing the legislation.

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