Lamb Weston is investing $30 million to expand its Boardman, Ore. facility to add additional processing capacity for making its formed potato products, like hash brown patties and potato puffs.
The addition of the new line will add about 50 jobs to the company’s existing facility.
The company is seeing an increase in demand for frozen potato products, both domestically and internationally, and the new line will help Lamb Weston’s fulfill its global growth projections.
“With the frozen potato category growing globally, we have tremendous opportunity to support our customer’s growth in the U.S. and around the world,” said Greg Schlafer, Lamb Weston’s president in a release. “To capture that growth, we need to make more products. Expanding our operations in the Columbia Basin — with access to great potatoes, people and ports — just makes sense.”
Construction on the new state-of-the-art processing line is expected to begin in the spring, with completion in 2017. The added line will increase the processing capacity by approximately 50 million pounds once complete.
Gary Neal, general manager of the Port of Morrow, said Lamb Weston’s ongoing investment at the Port adds good-paying jobs in the region.
“Lamb Weston’s planned expansion shows their continued commitment to the Port of Morrow, Boardman and the Mid-Columbia region as the right place to do business.”
The facility in Boardman is strategically situated to support domestic and international growth, with proximity to prime growing, storage and shipping operations, and easy access to the Port of Morrow.
The company opened an initial expansion of the facility in June 2014, adding 300 million pounds of capacity with a new fry line. That $200 million project included plans for the new processing line.
The Boardman processing plant was originally built in 1996 by Logan International. Lamb Weston purchased the plant in 2006 and upgraded it shortly afterwards.
In April, the processing facility received its official Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The design, construction and operations at the 505,000-sq.-ft. facility, known as Boardman East, were developed with environmental impact and sustainability in mind.
“We approached the addition in Boardman the way we approach all of our projects — with an eye for efficient and sustainable operations,” said Rick Martin, Lamb Weston’s vice president of global operations.
Martin said the company learned a lot during the construction of its LEED Platinum facility in Delhi, La. and brought the best of what it learned to the design and construction of the Boardman addition.
Lamb Weston is one of the largest employers in the Columbia Basin, with approximately 4,500 employees at a corporate office and seven manufacturing facilities in the region. The company has 390 employees in Boardman.
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