Wonderful Real Estate Begins Construction of Amenity, Training Center at Industrial Park in Shafter, California

Wonderful Real Estate Development has started construction of a new corporate office building, conference center, wellness center, amenity center and vocational school at Wonderful Industrial Park (WIP) in Shafter.

Spanning 98,000 square feet, the logistics park is slated for completion in first-quarter 2022. The development will include a 61,000-square-foot corporate office component, a 37,200-square-foot vocational training center and an 8,500-square-foot restaurant café space.

The corporate office space will be home to more than 200 Central Valley employees, including those working for Wonderful Citrus, Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, Suterra, Pom Wonderful and Wonderful Real Estate Development. Additionally, the office space will provide large meeting rooms that will be available to companies within WIP and the community at-large.

The development’s Wonderful Wellness Center will include a gym, exercise classes, healthy awareness programs and access to a mobile clinic. In addition to Wonderful Company’s developments, Walmart Inc. is nearing the completion of a 630,000-square-foot distribution facility at WIP. The highly automated property is optimized for handling, packaging and shipping food. The facility is located on 65 acres that Walmart acquired from WIP in 2018. The facility is slated to be fully operational by spring 2021.

https://rebusinessonline.com/wonderful-real-estate-begins-construction-of-amenity-training-center-at-industrial-park-in-shafter-california/

DOWNTOWN MADERA BREAKS GROUND ON $24.69M HOUSING PROJECT

The City of Madera held a virtual groundbreaking on a new $24.69 million affordable housing project in the city’s downtown district on Tuesday morning. The 48-unit community will consist of two three-story buildings, funded in part by more than $11 million from the California Strategic Growth Council as part of cap-and-trade proceeds. Other funding sources include the city, which owned the parcels, the Redevelopment Successor Agency, Madera County Behavioral Health Services, tax credit equity and private loans.

It’s the first new development that the downtown area has experienced in many years. It could be completed as early as the third quarter of 2021 “We have been trying to make improvements in downtown Madera for years,” said Madera Mayor Pro Tem Santos Garcia in a video released about the project. “For us to be awarded these monies, over $11 million to start this project means more affordable housing and an uplifting of our downtown area, making it a better place for people to come and live, and be able to come and shop.”

The project at the corner of Fifth and C Streets includes 18 studios, 10 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom and 8 three-bedroom units geared toward veterans and families Approximately $3.8 million of the award will go to the City of Madera for transit, pedestrian and bike improvements throughout downtown, including 27,000 linear feet of new sidewalks, and an adult bike share program which will be implemented by the Madera Police Department.

A large network of community stakeholders and funding partners worked on the project for over a year including the Successor Agency, Madera County Veterans Service Office, Madera County Behavioral Health, Housing Authority of Madera, Community Action Partnership of Madera County, Madera County Transportation Commission, Madera Downtown Association, Madera County Arts Council, Madera Unified School District, and many others. MORES and Pacific West Communities are the developers for the project. Development services resulting in the grant award were provided by Sigala Inc., a local urban planning and real estate firm.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/downtown-madera-breaks-ground-on-24-69m-housing-project/

Tejon proposes rental project near Outlets

A 495-unit apartment complex proposed at what is now an outlets-center parking lot has jumped to the front of Tejon Ranch Co.’s line of housing projects. Pending a vote Tuesday by the Kern County Board of Supervisors, the project is expected to house people working at the company’s nearby retail and distribution-center developments — and help recruit new employers to the area.

The 27-acre project would be far smaller than the Lebec-based company’s three other residential projects, including one proposed a few miles away aimed at serving the same blue-collar residents. That project has fallen behind schedule amid legal challenges. A company spokesman declined to provide a construction timetable but said the two-phase project, with 13 residential buildings two to four stories high plus resident amenities and 8,000 square feet of shop space, will be the first of the company’s housing projects to be built. It will serve demand for apartments among 4,000 people already working at the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center, he said, and it will help persuade other employers to move to what is now an area with few housing options.

Bakersfield industrial property broker Wayne Kress said the project will boost the area’s attractiveness among operators of distribution-type centers. “The proximity to labor will only help Tejon attract industrial users,” he said by email. Originally the land proposed for the project was set aside for an expansion of the company’s Outlets at Tejon immediately to the south. The shopping center launched in fall 2016 has at times struggled to keep some of its larger spaces leased. “Given changes in the bricks and mortar retail environment, providing housing opportunities for the workforce is a better and more immediate use of the land,” Tejon Ranch spokesman Barry Zoeller said by email.

Supervisors are scheduled to vote Tuesday whether to grant Tejon Ranch a pair of conditional use permits it needs to move forward with the project. The project has the support of Bakersfield Association of Realtors President Ronda Newport, who noted local rental vacancies are at record lows. She said the project will help workers with no nearby housing options. “When you can site housing opportunities close to an employment base, like this project does, that is attractive to those employees,” Newport said by email.

Tejon Ranch, an agribusiness and real estate development company, had planned to meet the area’s housing needs with a project called Grapevine. With a master plan of 30 years or more, it is proposed to eventually include 12,000 residential units at the foot of the Grapevine and more than 5 million square feet of commercial space, as well as schools, parks and entertainment. The company said the Grapevine project has been slowed by lawsuits — “an unfortunate reality plaguing California real estate development,” Zoeller wrote. A court hearing set for later this month is expected to determine the adequacy of a supplemental environmental review approved by the Board of Supervisors in December 2019. Zoeller emphasized the very different scales of the two projects. The one going before the board Tuesday, he stated, “will be done very nicely, as is the Tejon way, but it’s not a large project.”

A county staff report said the mix of apartment types could change but that as it stands there would be 297 studio and one-bedroom units, 186 two-bedrooms and 12 three-bedrooms. Stephen Pelz, executive director of the county Housing Authority, said the organization supports such projects because the lack of residential units drives prices up faster than income levels. “It’s encouraging when developers and employers like Tejon Ranch see the big picture and find ways to help meet the housing needs of their workforce,” Pelz wrote in an email. “This will complement the Grapevine project as it is important to have diverse housing types available to a variety of income levels.”

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/tejon-proposes-rental-project-near-outlets/article_d3ea3ad0-4ed2-11eb-aa5b-b376af3c6b12.html

Fresno launches outdoor dining parklet project in Tower District

City officials announced Friday that outdoor dining parklets would be built in front of restaurants in Fresno’s Tower District, with the intent of creating outdoor seating in response to COVID-19 guidelines. The first location to have a parklet is Irene’s Cafe, which will have a temporary parklet starting Friday, followed by The Revue and The Lincoln Pub & Grub, which will have parklets installed next week.

The money to build the parklets came from $600,000 in grants through Fresno’s CARES Act funds to build parklets across the city, with $35,000 going toward the three businesses. “Our Tower businesses deserve our support during this difficult time and I’m glad our city has stepped up and provided it,” said Council President Miguel Arias.

The temporary parklets are expected to be replaced within three weeks with a permanent parklet. Additionally, five other businesses have started the application process to expand their outdoor dining area. “We look forward to bringing more outdoor dining to the Tower District,” said Tyler Mackey, Executive Director of the Tower District Marketing Committee. “Our businesses appreciate the city’s desire to help create solutions for the challenges of COVID-19.”

In coordination with the Fresno Arts Council, a call to artists has been issued for art submissions for murals to be featured on the permanent parklets to be consistent with the public art in the Tower District and in agreement on design with the business owners. “We are very excited to launch this program bringing much needed COVID-19 relief to our Tower District business owners,” said Councilmember Esmeralda Soria. “Our community is struggling with the effects of COVID-19 and our small business owners have been among those most affected. This is a creative way of keeping our residents safe and our small businesses afloat.”

https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/local-news/fresno-launches-outdoor-dining-parklet-project-in-tower-district/

Retail construction continues locally despite pandemic

Judging only by construction of new retail buildings around Bakersfield, it would be easy to conclude the pandemic has hardly disrupted the local economy. That’s not the case, of course, with unemployment hovering at about 13 percent in August. But in recent months whole new shopping centers have sprung up at the intersections of Stockdale Highway and Buena Vista Road, and at Panama Lane and Ashe Road.

Meanwhile, construction of additional retail projects has begun at Snow Road and Calloway Drive. Also, work is scheduled to begin soon on a similar project at Panama Lane and Gosford Road. There’s no question these projects predate COVID-19’s arrival and originated under better economic circumstances. In that sense, observers say, they are left over from a time when investor confidence was stronger than it is now. But it’s also a good sign — and a benefit to local employment — that these developments are proceeding despite the economic slowdown and generally challenging times for the retail industry.

Bakersfield commercial real estate broker Scott Underhill said March and April were tough but that since then business has picked up. Rents have come down, he noted, as tenants and landlords have worked together out of shared necessity. “We’ve adjusted and moved forward,” he said.

The pain in local retail has not been distributed evenly. Broker Vince Roche said some stores are suffering, as are family entertainment centers. But drive-thrus, grocery stores and home-improvement retailers, he said, are doing quite well. Roche said he takes hope in a recent surge in demand from people moving to Bakersfield from other areas where homes are more expensive. Eventually that should lead to more homes and, after that, additional stores to serve new neighborhoods. He cautioned that COVID-19 has clouded an already uncertain future for retail. Society remains “in the storm,” he said, and it’s hard to tell where the economy will end up after the pandemic subsides. Developers may have reason to pause, he said, but not necessarily good cause to halt. “It (the virus) has created just another layer of risk that has to be assessed and really evaluated on a project-by-project basis,” he said.

One byproduct is that construction labor is now hard to come by, said Joe Jannino, an estimator at general contractor SC Anderson Inc. “There’s plenty of work going on right now,” he said, adding that SC Anderson has kept busy lately largely because of school construction and other publicly funded building projects.

The project that began recently at Snow and Calloway will feature an Arco filling station with a convenience store and carwash, Underhill said. There will also be a fast-foot restaurant and a 20,000-square-foot store whose tenant has not been identified.

At Stockdale and Buena Vista, he said, a Panda Express will open this week. Other tenants there will include a Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, a Little Caesars Pizza, a Del Taco and a nail salon, along with other tenants still negotiating leases. The shopping center being completed at Panama and Ashe will have a Planet Fitness gym, a 7-Eleven, a Habit Burger Grill, a Raising Cane’s, a Mexican-style restaurant and other tenants, Underhill said. He said at Panama and Gosford there will be an Arco, two fast-food restaurants and a 20,000-square-foot store.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/retail-construction-continues-locally-despite-pandemic/article_749a316e-ff83-11ea-ba2f-b700fc93ff6d.html

Setton Academy for Industrial Robotics and Technology coming in 2021

Setton Farms has announced it will build a school in Terra Bella that will focus on industrial robotics and technology. The new school will be called Setton Academy.

In 2019, Setton Pistachio established a 501c(3) non-profit to develop and operate an industrial technology school. After a lengthy permitting process, the school was approved, and construction on Setton Academy began in summer 2020. DAYCO Construction and Industrial Design and Construction (IDC) are assisting with construction and materials. The school will be equipped with robotic and computer vision cells, as well as software development workstations for a hands-on laboratory experience.

“The school is a 501c(3),” said Setton Farms General Manager Lee Cohen “It’s an educational foundation that the family has set up to provide modern educational instruction in advanced industrial electronics and industrial robotics. We think that it’s a very effective way to change the trajectory of kids’ lives locally in Terra Bella.

“We are targeting students that are 18 to 23 year old high school graduates who we hope to basically give the requisite skills to change the trajectory of their lives to go into a pathway of industrial automation, which in today’s job market is very, very lucrative, high paying and very much in demand. The goal is really to go after the local kids who really wouldn’t have an opportunity like this.”

Once up and running, the Setton Academy will provide short certificate style courses that allow students to advance their education in industrial electronics, robotics and computer vision. The hands-on, module-based curriculum will be designed to focus on industrial automation control, robotics, computer vision and CAD design, and will allow students to learn at their own pace. The curriculum will cover subjects that match skills required in the broad industries throughout the Valley. All of the modules will be taught by industry professionals in a variety of methods ranging from live, hands-on instruction, to step-by-step videos and other interactive media modes.

“The school is going to be very modest and small,” said Cohen. “We’re going to try to take less than 30 students a year. If we can change the lives of 10, 20, 30 kids a year, over 10 years we’ll really have made a big difference in Terra Bella, and I think that’s the goal. The non-profit is going to be focused on providing access to these kids, providing very simplified and well designed curriculum, so that we can really utilize the state of the art of modern industrial robotics and technology, which really now is very accessible to these kids, because everyone of these kids probably has a smartphone and knows how software works, and I think the modern state of industrial automation is more accessible to them these days because of that.”

The goal of Setton Academy is its graduates acquire the necessary industrial technology and robotics skills to bring immediate value and productivity for employers who utilize production automation. If the school can achieve its goals, it could potentially change the pathway of its graduates’ lives from a minimum-wage, low-skill trajectory into a highly paid, high-skill, high-growth job trajectory.

“I think across the Valley, certainly in Agriculture, there’s of course ways of automation due to the difficult operating environment and higher costs across every aspect,” said Cohen. “I think nationally we will resort to automation to offset those costs in the long run, and I believe that, probably at this point in time, there aren’t enough educational institutions that are focusing on the people who will be operating, managing, interacting and designing this wave of automation that will be progressing through the Valley. I think it’s very within reach of all of these kids, absolutely. We just have to put together the right curriculum, the right delivery, the right program. So what we’re doing is bringing the education locally in town. They can walk to us. That’s the objective; this local education delivering really very market focused principles of education.”

Future goals for Setton Academy include developing a network of hiring companies that will source automation operators directly from the school.

“We are encouraging the community to get involved,” said Cohen. “We are looking for community members who can sit on a committee or some kind of advisory council. We want the community completely involved in this.”

The school is aiming to be completed by the summer of 2021.

https://www.recorderonline.com/news/setton-academy-coming-in-2021/article_bf4b6b5a-ff48-11ea-8a87-4f3360aea47c.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

 

California Supreme Court Gives Favorable Nod to North Fork Rancheria Casino

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: North Fork, CA – August 31, 2020 – The California Supreme Court has ruled that former Governor Jerry Brown acted within his authority when he concurred in a pair of federal decisions in 2011 that led to the approval of two so-called “off-reservation” tribal gaming projects in Madera and Yuba counties. In United Auburn Indian Community v. Newsom, the Court determined that the Governor has the right to concur. The decision will allow the North Fork Rancheria to move forward with the design, financing and construction of its long-awaited and highly anticipated project north of the City of Madera.

“We are thrilled that the Court has finally decided this case in our favor” said North Fork Rancheria Tribal Chair Elaine Bethel-Fink. “Our tribal citizens and local community have been denied the advantages of tribal gaming – billions of dollars in economic benefits and thousands of jobs – for far too long.”

The legal case stems back nearly a decade; the Tribe’s pursuit of a casino nearly two. In 2003, the Tribe penned an agreement with Las Vegas-based Station Casinos to develop a casino. The next year, the Tribe requested the federal government to take the proposed site near Madera in trust for gaming purposes. After a rigorous and lengthy federal review, the Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs determined that gaming on the land would be in the best interest of the Tribe and not detrimental to the surrounding community and requested the Governor’s concurrence to move forward. A year later, on August 30, 2012, in a letter to the Secretary of the Interior, Governor Brown concurred in the determination.

Opponents eventually challenged the Governor’s authority to concur, arguing that California’s Constitution required legislative authorization. In 2017, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear challenges to both projects after two appeals courts reached different conclusions. It then took the Court over 3½ years to rule on the matter.

“While we firmly believe that only federal law controls the gaming eligibility of our trust lands,” said Bethel-Fink, “we are nonetheless delighted to have this long drawn out drama finally behind us — and eager to get going and bring jobs and economic opportunity to our people and community!”

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About the North Fork Rancheria
The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians is a federally recognized Native American tribe with over 2,200 tribal citizens and government offices in Madera County, California. Since the restoration of its federally recognized status in 1983, the Tribe has established modern tribal governing institutions to improve the lives of its tribal citizens, many of whom have limited access to basic housing, healthcare, business, employment, and educational services and opportunity. The Tribe leverages its limited federal grant funding to operate numerous tribal programs. More information available at https://www.northforkrancheria-nsn.gov/.

UPS & Amazon offer huge boost to Visalia Industrial Park

-September 9,2020-

After 2 years of construction activity United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to open their new 450,000sf distribution hub on Plaza at Riggin in the Visalia Industrial Park early next month. UPS spokesperson Kim Krebs says when it opens the “new Visalia package sortation and distribution center will create more than 625 new full-and part-time well-paying jobs.”

Contractors are packing up now after erecting the 88 acre complex that includes several outbuildings, a truck maintenance facility, fuel center, customer service center and entrance station besides the main tilt-up concrete building with its advanced package sorting conveyor system. UPS bought the land in summer of 2017 from CapRock Partners adding 30 acres last fall from the same party. But wait,as they say ..there’s more.

Right next door to UPS there is some surprise news from another mega-shipper. Amazon is the unnamed mystery logistics center that is now under construction with a 1.3 million square ft distribution center of their own – one of their “fulfillment centers” that typically employ 1000 or more. Amazon has not announced the Visalia project but the contractor on the job Gray Construction based in Kentucky is an Amazon contractor and at the job site today.The company secured the city building permit.

Blake Steel with Gray Construction says this will be the third Amazon center he has worked on and says they will be complete in 11 months. Some 300 construction workers will be needed during the busiest months of the Visalia project.

A typical scenario played out in Fresno with the distribution center built and open in less than a year. In Fresno’s case “During peak times, the fulfillment center ships over 1 million packages per day and has created over 3,500 jobs within the immediate area” says a report. If Fresno has one, Bakersfield too now has seen completion of a 4-story Amazon complex near their airport, expected to open September 6,according to the Bakersfield Californian.

The new general manager told the press there “This is one of the most advanced buildings that Amazon has,” he said, adding that the building — four stories, each about the size of 11 football fields — is the company’s 26th “fulfillment center” in California.” Make that the 27th – counting Visalia. Like UPS, Amazon is not just hiring robots to do the work. Amazon has more than 110 active fulfillment centers in the US and more than 185 centers globally. Now we are on the map

Property owner Newport-based CapRock Partners has been working on this 1.3 million “spec building” for over a year and just received City of Visalia approval to begin construction with grading of the empty site starting last week. Electric power to the site for construction is being added this week to the new address- 3315 N Kelsey.The building has a million sf at ground level and a 300,000sf mezzanine.

CapRocks’ President Patrick Daniels said he could not comment who the tenant was for the big building, what will be by far Visalia’s largest – almost 10 Costcos for comparison. Daniels has been working on their 640 acre industrial park – they call it the Visalia Logistics Center – since 2006 when he first visited Visalia drawn by developer Richard Allen and his successful effort to bring in VF Corp to Visalia in 2005. VF, a major local employer, is another big UPS customer who came to town because UPS ships by ground from Visalia to most of California in less time than almost all other competitive locations. Scores of other firms have suggested that is why, they too, chose Visalia.

With the coming of these two new shippers, the City of Visalia already is planning to widen Riggin from Plaza to Shirk in coming months as well as punching Kelsey north that will allow Amazon street access.The Riggin and Kelsey intersection will now be signaled. Riggin is already busy with truck traffic with the new connection to Highway 99 ( Betty Drive Interchange) that fully opened in the past year.

As for jobs at Amazon the Bakersfield location is a close model, offering warehousing jobs paying $15 to start, the company says, and full-time employees immediately qualify for comprehensive health benefits as well as a 401(k) program with a 50 percent company match. Amazon also offers to pay 95 percent of tuition for college courses in in-demand fields, regardless of whether that education relates to their current job with Amazon.

Amazon.com also said last week it received federal approval to establish a fleet of drones and will begin limited tests of package deliveries to customers in the U.S., although a number of key steps remain before widespread use of the technology will be allowed. Besides drones, both UPS and Amazon promises a green fleet of delivery vehicles based in the Visalia Industrial Park.

What will be the impact on government of a new Amazon logistic center here? A summary of Amazon’s 2019 U.S. taxes they reported includes:

•Over $1 billion in federal income tax expense.
•More than $2.4 billion in other federal taxes, including payroll taxes and customs duties.
•More than $1.6 billion in state and local taxes, including payroll taxes, property taxes, state income taxes, and gross receipts taxes.
•Last year alone, Amazon collected and remitted nearly $9 billion in sales and use taxes to states and localities throughout the U.S. The recent enactment of “marketplace laws” by 40 states allows Amazon to legally collect state and local sales and use taxes on behalf of third-party sellers who sell their goods on their platform.

If Amazon is the golden boy company, UPS and their stock has been on a tear recently as well, propelled by a surge in e-commerce activity this year as a result of COVID. UPS stock has doubled since May.

UPS is developing more so-called super-hubs across the US handling more shipments using highly automated technology.The trend is continuing as demand for same-day service accelerates fueled by more internet shopping and door-to-door delivery. The company is gearing up for the holiday shipping season 2020 in Visalia a year earlier than Amazon will do here – for the holiday season of 2021. With all those internet orders a recent analysis expects that e-commerce will require more than 3x the logistics space of brick-and-mortar sales, according to 2019 data.

Global e-commerce sales are projected to more than double to $6.5 trillion by 2023, according to Statista. The Boston Consulting Group estimates U.S. e-commerce sales will double too, to $1 trillion, growing at six times the rate of all retail transactions.

Those projections came before the coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted an explosion in online shopping by people avoiding brick-and-mortar stores because of stay-home orders or fear of being infected by the virus. Best Buy recently reported that e-commerce sales grew 242% from the year-ago quarter and now represent 53% of total sales. VF Corp recently posted e-commerce earnings enjoying a surge as well.

The side-by-side locations of UPS and Amazon in Visalia may encourage a mutual feeding frenzy in our future. Amazon is UPS’ largest customer, accounting for almost 12% of UPS’ $74 billion in revenue last year. Besides taxes, payroll and the job impacts of the double powerhouses of UPS and Amazon, the developments will clearly draw more companies to Visalia say officials. Already 5 more spec buildings are nearing completion within a country block of the two centers.

CapRock itself has 300 more acres just to the north of the Amazon/UPS sites and Fresno developer John Brelsford ,who already has a dozen tenant-filled big buildings in the industrial park, has 150 acres at the NWC of Plaza and Riggin. CapRock too has plans to build another 500,000sf spec building just north of Amazon.

The coming of all this new industry along the city’s northern edge is going to further juice homebuilding in this area and spur other development along Riggin that now ties to Hwy 99 – a continuous 4-lane artery.To the west of Plaza, Brelsford plans several million square feet of new industrial space and sources say Tevelde has long range plans to annex land not yet in the city north of Riggin,plenty more land almost to Hwy 99.

http://sierra2thesea.net/central-valley/double-double-combo-in-visalia

Aemetis provide updates of RNG, cellulosic ethanol projects

By Erin Voegele | March 13, 2020
Aemestis Inc. released fourth quarter financial results on March 12, reporting increased revenues and progress with the development of its cellulosic ethanol and renewable natural gas (RNG) projects. During an earnings call, Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis, said the company has signed participation agreements with 17 dairies for its RNG project. The company has also built and tested two dairy lagoon digesters, and has designed and permitted a 4-mile pipeline that is now under construction to connect the dairy digesters to its corn ethanol plant in Keyes, California. The RNG project is currently expected to begin generating revenue for Aemetis during the second quarter of this year. According to McAfee, the company plans to complete construction of the next 15 digesters by the end of 2021.

McAfee also provided an update of the company’s proposed 12 MMgy cellulosic ethanol plant in Riverbank, California, that will employ LanzaTech gas microbe ethanol production technology. Last year, Aemetis signed three significant financings related to the Riverbank project, including a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commision, a $12.5 million tax waiver that offsets equity funding required for the project, and the signing of a $125 million United States Department of Agriculture conditional commitment letter for a 20-year debt financing under the 9003 biorefinery program, according to McAfee. Currently, he said the company is focused on completing engineering of the plant required for the negotiation of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. McAfee said financial closing to being construction of the Riverbank plant is dependent on completing the engineering and procurement work required for the signing of the construction contract. During the call, McAfee also described several upgrades that are being made to the company’s Keyes ethanol plant. One upgrade involves the development of a carbon dioxide liquification plant by Linde Gas adjacent to the Keyes plant. McAfee said construction on the CO2 capture equipment and piping for the Keyes plant was complete in January. Once the project becomes fully operational in the second quarter, the new liquification plant is expected to convert approximately 150,000 tons per year of CO2 produced by the Keyes plant into liquid CO2 for sale to local food processors, beverage producers and other industrial users.

The Keyes plant is also adding a Mitsubishi membrane dehydration system to the Keyes plant. That dehydration unit was delivered to the Keyes plant in late February, McAfee said, and is currently being installed. Aemetis is also working to add a solar microarray, high-efficiency heat exchanger, and mechanical vapor recompression system to the Keyes plant. Aemetis also operates a biodiesel plant in India. The company reported revenues of $52.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, up from $38.8 million for the same period of last year. Gross profit was $5.8 million, compared to a gross loss of $1.9 million. Operating profit was $1 million, compared to an operating loss of $6.7 million reported for the same period of 2018. Net loss attributable to Aemetis was $6.7 million, compared to a net loss of $11.4 million for the fourth quarter of the previous year. For the full year, revenues reached $202 million, up from $171.5 million in 2018. Gross profit was $12.7 million, up from $5.4 million. Operating loss for 2019 reached $4.9 million, compared to an operating loss of $10.9 million for 2018.

http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/16886/aemetis-provide-updates-of-rng-cellulosic-ethanol-projects

Drive-in movies light up Merced County. Local group brings mobile cinema to Los Banos

Once a symbol of a bygone era, the drive-in movie has come roaring back in the Central Valley spurred on by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, its ensuing shutdowns and subsequent desire for safe family outings. Now a local group is committed to bringing the concept to Los Banos and beyond. The Nightlight, a new mobile outdoor drive-in cinema and concert project, launches this weekend at the Los Banos Fairgrounds. Started by two cousins, one a valley native and one who spent his summers here growing up, the idea started when both saw their normal industries paused because of the COVID-19 outbreak. “We were reminiscing about early childhood movie marathon nights and we got an idea to get a drive-in together,” said Los Banos native Gia La Salvia, who is spearheading the project along with cousin Brian Perry.

Drive-in movies returned to Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties last month, with success and sold-out screenings. The Nightlight held an invitation-only preview at the fairgrounds last weekend, and opens it public slate this weekend Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13, with the beloved childhood movie “The Sandlot,” a 1993 coming-of-age classic about a group of friends who spend their summer playing baseball together. La Salvia works as a film producer in London, but when the coronavirus halted normal life and work, she returned to the region. Her cousin, Perry, works in construction in the Bay Area and also saw his work slow down. Together they have engineered a concept using shipping containers, available FM technology and the fairgrounds in Los Banos to recreate the classic drive-in experience.

https://www.modbee.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/biz-beat/article243430066.html