SALIDA — A new Blue Diamond almond processing plant in Salida opened is now in operation after a 14 months of construction.
Darrell Nelson of Blue Diamond explained what makes the new bulk storage facility the most state-of-the-art almond factory in the world.
“We designed a system to unload bulk trucks in 15 minutes or less, Boxes could be dumped every 2 minutes, so we’re continually dumping. This system could do both at the same time, which is very unique,” Nelson said.
The building is 100 feet wide, 480 feet long, and 60 feet tall, extending 32 feet into the ground.
The almonds climb up a sloped conveyor belt inside.
After electronically being sorted out in a metal spiral slide, the almonds end up in a storage facility that can hold 60 million pounds.
Blue Diamond executives said they are proud everything here is created by people who live in California.
“We hired local contractors, local fabrication, local employees, local engineers, structural engineers, electrical engineers,” Nelson said.
“In design and in construction, it is 100-percent California made, and now filled with two-thirds, 100-percent California grown almonds,” Blue Diamond President and CEO Mark Jansen said.
They said another major improvement of this giant facility is food safety.
“No humans will touch the products so it’s going to enter from this truck behind us, go in automatically, and come out directly to the main plant where it will be processed and packaged,” Nelson.
After going down into the underground processing center, the cleaned almonds leave the Salida facility to be flavored and packaged in Sacramento, Turlock and around the world.