Lamb Weston broke ground this month on a $3.4 million storage center in Pasco.
The 50,000-square-foot building is keyed to an expansion of the frozen potato giant’s Richland manufacturing center, where it is investing $200 million to build a second french fry line.
It is the largest buyer of Washington-grown potatoes.
“With the expansion in Richland, we’re going to need more potatoes, so we’re going to need more potato storage,” explained Shelby Stoolman, spokeswoman for Lamb Weston.
Construction in Richland is on track to open the line this fall as planned, Stoolman said.
The expansion will add 128 jobs in Richland and will increase Lamb Weston’s appetite for Mid-Columbia potatoes by 300 million pounds a year. No new jobs are associated with the Pasco storage project, which is being built by Teton West at 5410 N. Commercial Ave.
Lamb Weston Holdings Inc. spun off from Chicago-based ConAgra Foods last year and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LW.”
It employs more than 4,000 people in the Mid-Columbia. Its Tri-City operations include the Richland campus, corporate offices in Kennewick and processing plants throughout the region and a farm.
The company’s share price closed at $46.03 Friday — 55 percent above its $29.61 debut in November.