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Tulare Co Biz: Visalia Dairy Plant Adding $55 Mil Evaporator

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.32.16 PMThat new 139 ft tall evaporator being built by California Dairies Inc (CDI) is valued at $55 million with their existing plant on Plaza valued at around $275 million already. It’s all about China and their surging demand for baby formula ingredients. China just announced that it would relax its one-child policy setting the stage for a renewed population boom in coming years. The new evaporator, the plant’s third, will allow higher specification powder that lasts longer on the shelf to be produced allowing the plant to run at full capacity with 200 loads of milk a day says COO Dave Bush. CDI, based in Visalia, has some 500 members.

Earlier this year Harris Construction completed repairs on dryers at the CDI plant in this picture using a giant crane.

Tulare County Gas Price Is State’s Lowest

Selling gasoline this week at $3.18 a gallon, two Tulare County gas stations are offering fuel at the lowest price in the state says Gas Buddy. The two stations are the Valero on Blackstone at E Prosperity in Tulare and Eagle Feather Trading Post on Hwy 190 near Porterville. Nearly a dozen other stations mostly in Tulare follow at $3.19 as the region is the Golden State’s low cost leader for the first time in recent memory.
“It looks a lot like competition” says local oil exec Walt Dwelle noting that Tesoro bought Shell and is being more aggressive in the marketplace in Tulare recently.
Dwelle says when oil inventories went down earlier this week the price of crude jumped. “We may have seen the bottom on retail gas prices” he figures.

Visalia Roof Top Solar Permits Soar

There has been a six-fold increase in the number of roof-top solar units being installed on Visalia homes in the past 2 years. Permit figures show that in 2011 Visalians contracted to have 66 roof-top solar units put on their homes with figures through early December.
Over the same period in 2012, the number of units climbed to 273. This year so far, the popularity of roof-top solar has soared to 415 units with valuation at more than $12 million compared to $1.9 million valuation in 2011. More than half the units are being installed by SolarCity company.

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