WINNIPEG, MAN. — C.W.B., formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board, has begun building its first grain elevator in an effort geared toward reestablishing the company as an independent grain handler. The elevator, located west of Portage La Prairie in Bloom, Man., is expected to be ready to receive grain for the 2015 harvest. Once completed, the facility will feature 33,900 tonnes of storage.

“Customer service was top-of-mind when choosing to invest in Bloom as the site for our first elevator,” said Ian White, president and chief executive officer of C.W.B. “As one of the highest efficiency elevators in Western Canada, farmers will be able to pull in and out of our elevator yard in record time. The site is easily accessible from a number of highways, including the Trans-Canada and the Yellowhead, and it is located in an area with a clear need for more grain-handling capacity.”

The elevator will feature a 17,400-tonne workhouse with cleaning facilities, and 16,500 tonnes of steel storage capacity. Additionally, a 130-car loop track will facilitate “fast and efficient car loading at up to 60,000 bus/hour,” C.W.B. said.  The CN mainline will service the elevator.

The building of the elevator marks C.W.B.’s first construction of a grain-handling facility and adds to the company’s growing asset network that includes Mission Terminal in Thunder Bay, Les Élévateurs des Trois-Rivières in Quebec, as well as a minority interest in Prairie West Terminal.

“Every tonne of grain delivered to Bloom will be tracked for the purposes of C.W.B.’s farmer ownership plan,” Mr. White said. “We want farmers to have a stake in their value chain after privatization. As we continue to grow, the benefits to farmers will grow with us.”