REGINA, SASK. — Viterra is planning to build a canola crush facility in Regina. The company is in the initial planning and decision phase finalizing the facility’s capabilities and design with a targeted crush capacity of 2.5 million tonnes annually.

The plant is targeted to be operational in late 2024.

“Viterra is a large global player in the oilseed crushing industry, with quality assets throughout our agriculture network,” said David Mattiske, chief executive officer of Viterra. “Over the years we have made a number of strategic investments in Canada and we are excited at the potential opportunity to further enhance our processing business. We look forward to leveraging our expertise at this new state-of-the-art facility and connecting our customers to additional opportunities within our supply chain.”

The company said it expects stepped-up demand for oilseed crushing, and anticipates the facility playing a role in supplying the feed stock required for renewable fuel production.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to pursue this substantial and historic investment in our asset network, which demonstrates our confidence in the future of western Canadian canola production,” said Kyle Jeworski, CEO of Viterra North America. “Through this project, we will be able to further leverage our strong relationships with farm customers and support Saskatchewan’s growth plan for expanded value-added processing capacity. Further, this project will have a long-lasting and positive local economic impact, both in terms of employment related to the facility’s construction and permanent employment once the plant is up and running.”

Completion of the project is based on negotiation and finalization of various permits, licensing, agreements with third parties and final approvals both internally and externally.

The announcement comes just a few days after Cargill unveiled plans to break ground soon on a new $350 million canola processing facility in Regina.

Jeff Vassart, president of Cargill Canada, cited the “continued growth and competitiveness of the canola processing industry” in Saskatchewan as a key reason behind the decision to build the new plant.

Cargill’s facility is projected to have an annual production capacity of 1 million tonnes.

In March, Richardson International Ltd. announced it would be doubling its processing capacity to 2.2 million tonnes and optimizing operational efficiencies to its Yorkton, Sask., facility.

Once completed, the Yorkton facility will include a high-speed shipping system with three 9,500-foot loop tracks and three high-speed receiving lanes.