MINNEAPOLIS — Ceres Global Ag Corp. has unveiled plans to build a $350 million integrated canola processing facility in Northgate, Sask. The facility will have the capacity to process 1.1 million tonnes of canola and refine more than 500,000 tonnes of canola oil, for both food and fuel, annually, according to the company.
“This is an exciting time for Ceres Global as we position ourselves to take advantage of the unprecedented demand for oilseed crush in North America,” said Robert Day, president and chief executive officer at Ceres. “While there are multiple drivers contributing to this demand, the most important is the movement toward green energy and the need for vegetable oil as feedstock for the production of renewable diesel. We have been analyzing canola crush at Northgate for several years as its location along the Canada-US border is ideally located to originate canola seed from our farmer partners, and with a direct connection to BNSF Railway, it provides the most efficient access to the US market and US ports. Our Northgate facility includes a 2.7-million-bu shuttle loading grain elevator and two 120-car loop tracks, providing ‘construction-ready’ infrastructure and shortening the timeline to complete this project.”
The facility is expected to be operational by summer 2024 and is expected to result in the creation of over 50 full time jobs in Saskatchewan, which is the largest canola producing province in Canada.
“Demand for renewable diesel feedstocks is rapidly growing,” said Jim Titsworth, director of agricultural development at BNSF Railway. “The BNSF network is ideally suited to supply the production, processing and distribution of these feedstocks. A crush plant at Northgate, SK will provide an important source of canola oil to meet the growing demand. Northgate has a unique location, both in Canada’s canola growing region and with direct rail access to the major renewable diesel and food processing markets via BNSF’s network. This allows Ceres-produced canola oil to have an advantage in this rapidly growing marketplace. That same network also results in advantaged animal feed market access for canola meal. BNSF is excited to add this facility to its growing customer investments in the renewable diesel market.”
Interest in canola processing facility construction has been high in recent months. In late April, both Viterra and Cargill announced construction plans for canola processing plants in Canada. Cargill unveiled plans to break ground soon on a new $350 million canola processing facility in Regina, Sask., that is projected to have an annual production capacity of 1 million tonnes. Viterra also is planning to build a canola crush facility in Regina with a targeted crush capacity of 2.5 million tonnes annually. Meanwhile, 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.
Ceres Global, together with its affiliated companies, operates 13 locations across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Minnesota. These facilities have an aggregate grain and oilseed storage capacity of approximately 32 million bushels.
Ceres Global has a 50% interest in Savage Riverport, LLC (a joint venture with Consolidated Grain and Barge Co.), a 50% interest in Farmers Grain, LLC (a joint venture with Farmer’s Cooperative Grain and Seed Association), a 50% in Gateway Energy Terminal (an unincorporated joint venture with Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp.), a 25% interest in Stewart Southern Railway Inc. (a short-line railway located in southeast Saskatchewan with a range of 130 kilometers), and a 17% interest in Canterra Seed Holdings Ltd. (a Canada-based seed development company).