Manitoba food processor announces $460-million plant expansion

Thursday February 15, 2018
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Manitoba food processor announces $460-million plant expansion
Photo: J.R. Simplot Company
Feb. 15, 2018 - The Manitoba government and J.R. Simplot Company have announced a major investment and expansion in the company’s Manitoba-based operations which is expected to create nearly 100 new jobs.

The $460-million construction project is scheduled to begin this spring and will increase the size of the Portage la Prairie facility from 180,000 to 460,000 square feet. The expansion will more than double the plant’s need for potatoes from regional growers, while increasing its employment by 87 expected new full-time positions. Current operations are expected to continue during construction, with expanded processing capacity expected in fall 2019.

As part of the expansion, Simplot will incorporate energy and water efficiency processes similar to those established at its Caldwell, Idaho, plant.

The provincial government estimates Manitoba growers annually harvest more than 65,000 acres of potatoes — roughly one-fifth of Canada’s total potato crop — making Manitoba the second-largest producer in the country.

“Manitoba delivers in so many ways that will help make this project a success,” said Mark McKellar, food group president, Simplot. “It has access to quality potatoes, a strong grower community, availability of highly skilled employees and distribution routes that continue to expand our footprint.”

The investment package provided by the Manitoba government includes tax increment financing up to $6.31 million to assist with anticipated capital investments and road improvements. Manitoba will also provide up to $522,000 in employee training contributions, based on the number of new positions.

Meanwhile, Manitoba Hydro will provide $1 million in PowerSmart program funding for electrical and natural gas efficiency projects, based on the plant meeting program guidelines.

“Simplot has already established itself as a member of the community of Portage la Prairie and now they are doubling their operations and investing in the future of Manitoba. Simplot, like others before them, has taken notice of a renewed focus on improving the business climate and our efforts to create opportunities for growth and investment,” said Premier Brian Pallister.

Founded in 1929, J.R. Simplot Company is headquartered in Boise, Idaho and has operations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and China.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Events

IMTS 2018
September 10-15, 2018
AI Manufacturing 2018
September 12-13, 2018

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.