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Richardson invests $120M to upgrade Lethbridge canola plant


August 17, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Aug. 17, 2016 – Richardson International Ltd. says it is investing $120 million in its canola processing plant in Lethbridge, Alta., to maximize operating efficiencies and modernize the facility to “significantly” increase canola crush capability.
  
Headquartered in Winnipeg, Man., Richardson is a handler and merchandiser of Canadian-grown grains and oilseeds and a vertically-integrated processor and manufacturer of oats and canola-based products.

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, said the company in a statement, adding that the upgrades to the plant began last year with the installation of new processing equipment.

Darwin Sobkow, executive vice-president, Agribusiness & Processing Operations, said increasing the speed of the receiving seed is a “top priority” to better serve customers and provide them with the “ability to deliver their seed quickly and efficiently.” The new receiving system is expected to receive 800 metric tonnes of canola per hour, a “significant increase” from the current system, said the company.

“We are continuing ongoing capital upgrades in Lethbridge to increase crush capacity and realize greater efficiencies. 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,” he said.

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With these upgrades, Lethbridge 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 said it will have the capacity to process more than 1.7 million tonnes of canola annually.

“We are committed to making a significant investment in our Lethbridge plant for long-term operations to continue to grow our business,” Sobkow added.