Richardson Oilseeds Limited will be expanding production capabilities at its canola crushing facility on the outskirts of Yorkton.
“We will be increasing the capacity of the plant by 25 per cent,” said company spokesperson Pat Van Osch. “This will increase the annual plant capacity from 840,000 metric tonnes of canola seed annually to over 1 million.”
Van Osch said the timing of the expansion is based on expected world demand for canola oil moving forward.
“We are seeing strong demand for canola oil in Canada, U.S. and globally and believe this demand will continue in the foreseeable future,” he said. “The demand is being drive by growth in food markets, overseas exports and biodiesel mandates in Canada and the U.S.” He added the specific profile of canola oil is a factor in the demand as well. “The healthy profile of Canola oil contributes to this demand.”
Work on the expansion will begin almost immediately in terms of planning.
“Engineering will be completed over the summer with construction starting early this fall,” said Van Osch.
Most of the expansion work will be to the existing processing line.
“There will be some minor expansion of the plant buildings with most of the expansion occurring internally to the existing building,” said Van Osch. “The plant was designed in anticipation of this type of expansion and therefore there isn’t a need for significantly more building space.”
Van Osch said the expansion should not greatly affect current plant operations.
“We are anticipating only minor disruptions to the current production flow,” he said.
Van Osch said they are “targeting start-up in the fourth quarter of next year (2013).”
Once complete Van Osch said they will need to marginally expand staff at the plant.
“There will be some additional staff to accommodate the increase volume,” he said, adding the number was “not specifically know at this time.”
When asked the cost of the expansion, Van Osch said that was “confidential” to the privately owned company.