TWIN FALLS, Idaho • The city has approved a $3.54 million expansion at Chobani’s Twin Falls plant.
The Greek yogurt giant plans to add on to its packaging and filling rooms on the east side of the plant, said Mitch Humble, the city’s community development director.
The expansion won’t increase production but will reduce downtime during cleaning, Humble said.
The 27,568-square-foot expansion, “which is small in Chobani terms,” he said, “will make room for a couple more lines of filling equipment.”
The addition will keep a steady flow of yogurt going when the production line changes flavors, Humble said.
Chobani reached optimal capacity in December — “a significant milestone achieved in less than a year,” the company said Tuesday in a statement.
The plant went from three lines producing about 100,000 cases a week to 12 lines producing more than 1 million cases a week, the statement said.
Chobani still has “limits on how much water it can buy from the city and how much waste can be discharged,” Humble said. The expansion will not increase either.
The $3.54 million price tag on the expansion is solely for the building construction. Equipment to fill the expansion will fall under the company’s personal property tax assessment, said Gary Bowden, assessor for Twin Falls County.
In addition to Chobani’s plant expansion, the company also won city approval last month to add a 10,000-square-foot area for office and employee trailers — a project that will add another $250,000 to the facility’s
The tax revenues from both expansions “won’t kick in till 2015,” Bowden said. “It’s a little tricky, but there’s not a direct tax benefit right away.”
But new construction and increased production will bring more people to town, he said.
“Ongoing expansion in our plants support continued growth and rising demand for Chobani, enabling us to provide better food for more people across the country,” Chobani’s statement said.