Alberta canola plant to receive upgrade
By Top Crop Manager
August 24, 2016 - Richardson International Limited will invest $120 million in its canola processing plant in Lethbridge, Alta. to maximize operating efficiencies and modernize the facility to significantly increase canola crush capability.
Currently, the plant processes approximately 450,000 metric tonnes of canola annually. With these upgrades, the facility will be able to process in excess of 2,000 metric tonnes of canola per day, increasing annual crush capacity to more than 700,000 metric tonnes. Combined with its canola processing plant in Yorkton, Sask., Richardson will have the capacity to process over 1.7 million tonnes of canola per year.
“We are continuing ongoing capital upgrades in Lethbridge to increase crush capacity and realize greater efficiencies,” says Darwin Sobkow, executive vice-president, agribusiness and processing operations. “This will allow us to better serve our customers and create a state-of-the-art facility that is very efficient for its size, positioning us to compete with the most modern canola crushing facilities in North America.”
Upgrades and enhancements to the facility began last year with the addition of new processing equipment. A modern, high throughput seed receiving facility is now being built to increase efficiency and provide quick turnaround for farmers and truckers delivering seed to the plant.
“Increasing the speed of the receiving plant is a top priority for us to better serve our customers, providing them with the ability to deliver their seed quickly and efficiently,” says Sobkow. “We are committed to making a significant investment in our Lethbridge plant for long-term operations to continue to grow our business.”
The new high speed receiving system will be able to receive 800 metric tonnes of canola per hour, a significant increase from the current system, and will be ready for harvest deliveries in the fall of 2017. Sobkow says the upgrades will be completed with minimal to no disruptions to ensure the Lethbridge facility continues to serve both farm customers and end-use buyers.