Cargill opens its first Canadian canola refinery in Clavet

Watch above: From seed to oil to your nearest fast food restaurant, a brand new, integrated canola refinery has opened in the community of Clavet, just west of Saskatoon. Amber Rockliffe takes a look at the facility and finds out what kind of an impact it will have on the village.

CLAVET, Sask. – After testing and optimizing its oil throughout the spring, the largest Cargill refinery in North America celebrated its grand opening Thursday.

“The economic contribution from this plant every year will be about $125 million in the province,” explained Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart.

“This plant could’ve gone other places, and we’re happy Cargill picked Saskatchewan,” he said.

Cargill’s corporate vice-president Scott Portnoy said all production now happens within 100 kilometres of the facility.

“It’s unique that you’d have everything right here in the province of Saskatchewan,” Portnoy said.

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The facility is currently processing about 4,500 tonnes of canola each day, and created 30 new positions in Clavet. Now the refinery hopes to ramp up its output.

“We’re at about 65 per cent of its effective capacity,” said Portnoy.

“Now it’s just a matter of more volume through the facility, more customers through the facility,” he explained.

Cargill produces all of the oil used in McDonald’s restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. The restaurant chain’s strategic supply vice president Mike Butkus said the new refinery will help with the expansion of its products.

“Cargill provides a lot of different products for us, different food items: oil, some of our sauces, beef, chicken, eggs, to name a few,” he explained.

Cargill’s grain elevator and crush plant opened in Clavet in 1996.