Cargill plans refinery for Sask. canola plant

Crude canola oil coming out of agrifood giant Cargill’s facility in central Saskatchewan may soon be refined where it’s crushed.

The U.S. company’s Winnipeg-based Canadian arm on Friday announced it will build a "world-scale" canola refinery at its plant at Clavet, Sask., about 20 km southeast of Saskatoon.

The facility, expected to be completed just ahead of the 2014-15 canola harvest, will be Cargill’s only such refinery in Canada. The Clavet plant’s oil is now shipped to other Cargill facilities and third-party plants for further-processing.

The Clavet crush plant, built in 1996 and doubled-up in capacity in 2009, is billed as the largest canola processing facility in Canada and the largest soft-seed plant in North America, with crush capacity of 4,500 tonnes per day (1.5 million tonnes per year).

Details on the refinery’s design are to be announced in "upcoming months," but when complete, the refinery is expected to add up to 30 jobs and increase Cargill’s Clavet staff to almost 200 employees, the company said.

The refinery "represents the first investment of this kind for Cargill in Canada and is one further step in the creation of Clavet as a major centre for value-added processing," Gonzalo Petschen, president of Cargill’s dressing, sauces and oils division, said in a release Friday.

"This builds on the original vision of Clavet being an integrated canola processing hub for Cargill and for Saskatchewan," Ken Stone, commercial manager for Cargill Grains and Oilseeds, said in the same release.

The new operation is expected to offer "the latest in design for both efficient and food-safe production of canola oil for the North American market," Cargill said.

Related stories:
Canada’s canola crush capacity increases, Oct. 30, 2007
Canola crush targets hit skid on FDA restrictions, Jan. 12, 2010

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