Viterra to boost SE Sask. elevator’s capacity

A high-throughput Viterra elevator in Saskatchewan’s southeast corner is set to get expansions of both its storage and rail car capacity.

The Calgary company on Wednesday announced it will double the rail car spot at its concrete elevator at Fairlight, Sask., about 55 km west of Virden, Man., and boost its storage capacity by about 25 per cent.

The Fairlight facility’s rated capacity, according to the Canadian Grain Commission, now sits at 25,340 tonnes. According to Kyle Jeworski, the company’s vice-president for North American grain merchandising, the expansion will add capacity for about 7,000 tonnes of grain.

The rail car spot, which connects to Canadian National Railway (CN) track, will expand from 52 to 104 cars, he said. The company didn’t say when it expects to complete the work at the site.

The expansion, "coupled with the strength of CN’s Scheduled Grain Service Plan, will enhance our joint ability to meet the shipping and handling needs of southeastern Saskatchewan grain farmers," Andy Gonta, CN’s vice-president for bulk sales and marketing, said in a Viterra release.

The Fairlight elevator was built by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool during the company’s shift to new high-throughput facilities in the mid-1990s.

While southeastern Saskatchewan’s crop production last year was largely curtailed by excess moisture, the region has "historically been a very strong area" for Viterra, Jeworski said.

The expansion, he said, stemmed from the company’s ongoing review of its grain handling infrastructure, and in the Fairlight area it saw an opportunity to better serve both farmer and end-user customers and increase the facility’s efficiency with the 104-car spot.

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