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Biz Beat: Power Plant / Gas Prices / Olam Int. / Delano Citrus Plant

Avenal Power Project Gets New Hearing

The California Energy Commission is expected  to OK a petition to build the long awaited Avenal Power plant,a 600MW natural gas fired power facility just east of I-5 at their January 9 meeting.The plant sits in the city limits of Avenal,California.

This month the Energy Commission staff reviewed the petition and assessed the impacts of the proposed modifications on environmental quality, safety and public health. “Energy Commission staff supports the proposed modifications along with staff recommended changes to the project” expected to lower emissions of concern from the original plan and  says it” will not result in a significant adverse direct or cumulative impact to the environment.”

The move to refile the project plan with lower emissions is seen as a way to sidestep entanglement with the EPA and a lawsuit against the EPA that has tied this project up for years. Environmental Justice advocates have criticized the project since it is close to Kettleman City.

California Average Gas Price Drops $1 Since Mid October

California’s skittish gas prices climbed overnight by 50 cents in September but have now plunged nearly $1 a gallon since October 11 says website Gas Buddy. The average price is now $3.70,down from a high of $4.67. Stations were quick to go up and slow to go down ,no surprise.The cheapest price for gas in the state is now down to $3.23 per gallon around Lodi. In Fresno AAA says the average price as of November 26 was $3.67, the same price for that date a year ago. The cheapest around Tulare County,$3.49 at a number of Tulare locations.Around SLO the best we get is $3.79.

Food Processor Olam Denies Financial Problems

Singapore based Olam Int has denied a report it faces financial insolvency. The company has several large food processing operations in the Central Valley. Olam International Ltd. this week rebutted a research report by Muddy Waters LLC and said it faces no risk of insolvency.
Olam has “sufficient liquidity” to fund its current business as well as future investment plans, the company said in a statement to Singapore Exchange.


Paramount Citrus’s Delano Mandarin plant

New Delano Citrus Plant Uses Green Energy
Nov. 16, 2012 In Delano , Paramount Citrus celebrated the grand opening of its new citrus packinghouse, which will be home to the company’s sweet, seedless, E-Z peel™ Cuties® California Mandarins. The facility measures in at more than 640,000 square feet – the equivalent of 11 football fields under roof – making it the world’s largest citrus packinghouse. The new plant employs 500.
Among its innovations – Half of the power used at the Cuties® Plant will come from “green energy” generation. On the roof is a 2.7MW solar plant which will generate 15 percent of the power for the Cuties® Plant, making it one of the largest customer-owned rooftop solar plants in the U.S. Additionally, a 1.6MW fuel cell, which produces electricity from natural gas with no combustion, will supply a further 35 percent of the power required to run the facility.
Paramount opened a new packinghouse in Delano, Calif., on Nov. 16 that has the capacity to pack 800,000 3-pound bags of Cuties daily.

The company is owned by Stewart Resnick who was on hand for the ribbon cutting.

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