CWB building grain elevator east of Saskatoon

The grain company formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board has picked a site for a second high-throughput Prairie grain elevator, this time in central Saskatchewan.

CWB announced Thursday it has started construction of a 42,000-tonne capacity steel facility on Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) track just southeast of Colonsay, about 60 km east of Saskatoon on the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy. 16).

The new elevator is to include a 17,300-tonne capacity workhouse with cleaning facilities, plus 24,700 tonnes of steel storage capacity and a 134-car loop track, CWB said. The facility is expected to provide a car-loading rate of up to 1,600 tonnes per hour.

“We see significant opportunity in the Colonsay area for a fast and efficient grain-handling facility that will provide the customer service that farmers have come to expect from CWB,” CEO Ian White said in a release.

White again emphasized Thursday that CWB has been tracking deliveries for all its farmer-customers since the 2013 harvest toward the company’s farmer ownership plan, “designed to give farmers a stake in their value chain after privatization simply by delivering against our contracts.” [Related story]

The Colonsay development is another move in CWB’s bid to build its own grain handling assets — beyond its handling arrangements with other Prairie grain firms — as it heads toward privatization following the deregulation of its single marketing desk for Prairie wheat and barley in 2012.

The company last month announced it had begun site work on a 33,900-tonne capacity high-throughput elevator at Bloom, Man., west of Portage la Prairie. [Related]

CWB last fall bought control of Winnipeg-based Mission Terminal — which includes a Thunder Bay grain terminal, a grain elevator west of Brandon, Man., and stakes in three Prairie producer-car loading facilities and five shortline rail operations — and a St. Lawrence River commodity handling facility, Les Elevateurs des Trois-Rivieres. [Related]

In January, CWB also took a 10 per cent stake in a farmer-owned grain elevator operation, Prairie West Terminal, which includes five sites in western Saskatchewan. [Related]

CWB in early 2011 also made a $65 million deal to buy two new Chinese-built Equinox-class gearless bulk “laker” vessels to move grain on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence system. Those vessels, CWB said Thursday, are scheduled to be operating in the St. Lawrence Seaway next year. — Network


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