Richardson International to expand Yorkton, Sask., canola crush plant

Richardson International Ltd. says processing at its Yorkton, Sask., canola crush plant will double once an expansion is complete. Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

Richardson International Ltd. says its Yorkton, Sask., canola crush plant will be the largest in Canada once an expansion project is complete.

The Winnipeg-based company announced Monday that it is planning to double processing at the plant to 2.2 million metric tonnes.

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Company officials said improving operational efficiencies and modernizing the facility is needed to meet growing global demand for canola oil and canola meal products.

“The global outlook for Canadian canola oil is promising, and this latest investment emphasizes our ongoing commitment to best in class facilities,” Darrell Sobkow, Richardson’s senior vice-president of processing, food and ingredients, said in a statement Monday.

“Yorkton lies right in the heart of canola country and we are focused on providing our producer customers with increasingly efficient means for meeting the needs of a growing global consumptive market.”

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The Saskatchewan government said it is a significant investment in the province, one that will create jobs while working towards its Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan goals.

“As the world recovers from the economic impacts of the pandemic, there remains a growing need for the food products Saskatchewan produces, such as canola oil and canola meal, and we appreciate this investment and expansion at Richardson’s Yorkton canola crush plant, which will help meet that demand,” said Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison.

“Our government is committed to maintaining a competitive business environment to attract these types of investments, which will benefit all Saskatchewan residents, and we look forward to working with Richardson on this important project.”

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The Yorkton facility opened in 2010, which Richardson said was the largest capital investment it had undertaken at the time.

“Saskatchewan and Manitoba producers have responded effectively, providing growth in canola production over the years — this has given us the confidence to move forward with expansion once again,” said Richardson International president and CEO Curt Vossen.

Saskatchewan is Canada’s top producer of canola, regularly producing over 50 per cent of seeded and harvested acres, according to Statistics Canada.

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The total estimated acres seeded and harvested in Saskatchewan in 2020 was 11,339,200 out of a total of 20,782,600 in Canada, StatCan reported.

“This state-of-the-art facility represents a good news story for all industry participants — for our producer customers and end-use buyers across North America and abroad,” said Keith Belitski, the director of operations for Richardson’s Yorkton facility.

“A construction project of this magnitude will be significant, economically, to the province of Saskatchewan, the city of Yorkton, and surrounding areas.”

Richardson said construction will start immediately on the expansion, with a completion date of early 2024.

The company said there will be no impact on its current operations.

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