News

Sustainable hydropower and strategic planning bring new jobs

by Kimberlee Craig | Jun 06, 2019

Diamond Foundry executives and Chelan County leaders gathered Thursday to celebrate the 35-50 jobs that the gemstone manufacturer’s new operation will bring to the area.

Kyle Gazay, Diamond Foundry production president, and West Mathison, Stemilt Growers president, joined Chelan PUD General Manager Steve Wright to mark the collaboration, planning and sustainable hydropower that enticed the diamond manufacturer to expand operations to the Wenatchee Valley.

"The partnership with Chelan PUD and Stemilt has been seamless, and we are looking forward to continuing the Diamond Foundry mission of growing diamonds with net zero carbon footprint,” said Gazay. “The increased hydropower provided makes this possible for us, and we look forward to being a part of this community and the economic growth of both Chelan County and the city of Wenatchee."

The diamond manufacturer is leasing space from Stemilt in Wenatchee for its new plant. Chelan County PUD is supplying up to 19 megawatts of power for the operation under the District’s new high density load rate.

Stemilt has agreements with the PUD to build a substation to power the operation because there is not enough PUD substation capacity to meet the load at that location. The Diamond Foundry plans to be in full operation by March 2020.

“Today’s celebration comes nearly four years after a fire caused destruction to this area,” said Mathison. “Since then, we’ve seen private and public entities come together and creatively find ways to foster new economic opportunity and diversity for Wenatchee. Stemilt looks forward to the Diamond Foundry becoming yet another gem in our great community.”

The new jobs are another benefit of public power for the local economy, said Wright.

“This contract is the fruit of our last strategic planning process where our community prioritized a balanced approach to economic development and minimizing impacts to existing customers.  Our work to support the new Diamond Foundry locating in Chelan County was guided by that input,” he said.

Diamond Foundry Chief Executive Officer Martin Roscheisen commented earlier this week after the District’s Board of Commissioners authorized Wright to sign the electric service agreements.

 “We are honored and excited about being able to expand in Wenatchee,” Roscheisen said. “We will make good use of the capacity and will make the community proud of what can be done with this asset.”

The Port of Chelan County and City of Wenatchee also were involved in the effort to attract and site the new business.

Company officials said there is “incredible demand” for diamonds produced above ground in America with no environmental or human harm. The company also is developing new technologies for using diamonds in power electronics to satellites to 5G communications.

“We are looking forward to Wenatchee being known for where our sustainable diamonds come from,” Roscheisen said.

Photo caption: (from left to right) Chelan PUD General Manager Steve Wright, Diamond Foundry Production President Kyle Gazay and Stemilt Growers President West Mathison answer questions before signing the PUD power supply contract.

 

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For questions about the Diamond Foundry contact Ye-Hui Goldenson, Public Relations and Communications director, (415) 902-0505, ye-hui@diamondfoundry.com .

 

Find us at Facebook.com/ChelanPUD and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD.

 

Here for you, providing the best for the most for the longest – chelanpud.org

 

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