Pocatello Airport to Host a Cold Storage Facility that Includes Fry, Dehy Processing Lines
The Idahoan city of Pocatello has a pending project for processing locally sourced potatoes into frozen fries and dehydrated products within a refrigerated warehouse to be built at Pocatello Regional Airport.
One of the future investment beneficiaries – undisclosed, for the moment – will process an estimate of almost 70,000 tons of raw potatoes per year. The local cultivars will be turned into more than 34,400 tons of fried potato products and over 4,000 tons of dehydrated flakes, with projected sales exceeding USD30m.
Ken Brown, the president of Frigitek Industrial Parks, told Intermountain Farm&Ranch that the Pocatello facility located at the city’s regional airport will use over 6,800 square meters of space for its potato processing and storage operation. The warehouse will have more than 4,600 square meters of common area, leaving room for up to three additional tenants.
He added that the tenants will have the ability to control the temperature as needed and, in some cases, may turn off the refrigeration and use space for dry goods. Brown considers that his tenant will have a freight advantage by being located at the heart of a major potato production area. Finished products will be shipped from the warehouse to markets by rail and truck.
In addition, the Frigitek president said that his company has also been working with an export consulting group, which is negotiating to secure an advance commitment for the purchase of 20% of the potato products produced at the facility.
Brown mentioned also that Frigitek has been negotiating with a frozen foods’ operator as a potential second tenant. He said demand for frozen foods has increased significantly during the pandemic, which has led more people to dine at home, and he’s also considering building a second refrigerated warehouse at the Pocatello airport once the initial facility is operational.
In 2020, Frigitek, based in Washington, D.C., hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction of the 26,000 square meters cold-storage facility. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, progress on the warehouse seemed to freeze in its tracks.
According to Brown, cited by Intermountain Farm&Ranch, the project is back on track, and he anticipates resuming construction ‘within a few weeks’. Frigitek’s CEO hopes to have the warehouse operational by the third quarter of 2022.