Blue Diamond Growers, Sacramento, Calif., announced plans to expand the capabilities of its Salida, Calif., facility, what is said to be the largest almond receiving station in the world.

The expansion includes a new bulk receiving warehouse that will store an additional 50 million pounds of almond meats, bringing the total number of bulk warehouses at the facility to eight.

Building on the success of the Bulk 7 warehouse, constructed in 2015, the new state-of-the-art warehouse will feature a number of enhancements to reduce the cooperative's carbon footprint and meet Blue Diamond sustainability initiatives, including increased energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and stormwater recharge. The warehouse will boast LED lights, an integrated truck scale and loading pit and 2,400 feet of buried perforated pipe directing the stormwater to the soil beneath the facility.

"Blue Diamond is excited about the continued growth of our business, and this investment by the cooperative demonstrates our solid commitment to the Modesto region," says Mark Jansen, president and CEO. "Expanding our capabilities also provides us with an opportunity to meet the needs of our grower-owners and customers as we deliver innovative new almond products worldwide."

The unique design of the warehouse features 60-foot ceilings and extends 26 feet into the ground, increasing Blue Diamond's receiving capacity by 25%. Growers can expect gentle handling of the almond meats, enabling higher yield and throughput on the main production line, and separate areas inside for storing three different varieties of almonds.

The cooperative expects the warehouse to be in operation for the fall 2020 harvest season.