Regina, Sask. – Alliance Grain Traders (AGT) will build a $50-million multi-function plant to process pulse crops for flours and food ingredients, and durum into semolina for pasta.
AGT made the announcement last week. Construction on the plant will begin in 2012 in the Global Transportation Hub, a new Regina industrial development devoted to transportation and logistics facilities.
The ManitobaCooperator.ca reports that the durum will be milled for the company’s production of its Arbella pasta brand in Canada and pulses will also be processed into starches, proteins and fibres.
Wheat growers’ response
The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association has announced that it is “delighted” by the news of the facility, saying it will be the first commercial-size pasta plant to be built on the prairies in decades.
The Wheat Growers also say that AGT is the first company out of the blocks to recognize the opportunities that will arise for processors looking to buy wheat and barley direct from prairie farmers under an open market.
The plant will create 150 jobs during construction and 60 full-time positions once it’s built.
The Saskatchewan Pulse Growers say the facility will also mean more capacity for Canada’s pulses in the overall food processing industry, and provide more opportunity for value added production.
“It will also be instrumental in developing more pulse-based foods that can be sold and consumed in Canada,” says Dr. Kofi Aglor, director of research at the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers.