Richardson sees crush plant ready by Q2, 2010

(Resource News International) — A state-of-the-art canola crushing plant being built at Yorkton, Sask. by Richardson Oilseed Processing is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2010.

“Construction of the $100 million facility actually began in the fall of 2008 with site preparation work, the underground work, the laying in of pipework and tubing, et cetera,” said Jean-Marc Ruest, assistant vice-president of legal and industry affairs for Winnipeg-based parent Richardson International (previously known as JRI).

Some of that work was now close to completion, he said, and the heavy processing equipment should start arriving this week.

After the site work and equipment has been located, the construction of the structures around the equipment will begin, he said.

“During the upcoming winter, we will be connecting all the various pieces together. The running of tests and the process of commissioning the plant was also expected to be underway at that time,” Ruest said.

If everything goes as planned and the commissioning process is a success, the facility will be ready for operation by the second quarter of 2010, he said.

The plant was originally announced by Richardson in September 2006 but unexpected increases to construction costs caused the company to delay the project.

“The pricing of the process took longer than what (Richardson) anticipated,” Ruest said. “As a result, our construction timeline was pushed back.”

Once the plant is built it will be capable of processing 840,000 tonnes of canola per year.

Ruest said the target for the plant’s production will be the food market.

“The canola oil product from the facility once it is running will likely be destined to the eastern U.S. food market, while the meal from the crush will likely be destined for cattle feed uses, including the Pacific U.S.,” he said.

There were also a number of domestic end users in Canada likely to consume both the oil and meal, he said.

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