Jobs $2 billion FCL agriculture complex plans to move forward

Jobs $2 billion FCL agriculture complex plans to move forward

Jobs

The new Integrated Agriculture Complex in Regina is expected to be operational by 2027, creating more than 2,500 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs.

Jobs Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) CEO Scott Banda pictured in this file photo from February 2020 in Regina.
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) CEO Scott Banda pictured in this file photo from February 2020 in Regina. Photo by TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) plans to move forward on a $2 billion renewable diesel and canola crush facility, a project the company says highlights its transition into the low carbon economy.

Jobs Advertisement

Announced on Monday, the new Integrated Agriculture Complex in Regina is expected to be operational by 2027, creating more than 2,500 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs.

“Our Integrated Agriculture Complex is an important step in the future of our business. It is a game changer,” said FCL CEO Scott Banda during an online new conference on Monday.

Speaking at the announcement, Premier Scott Moe said he anticipates the complex will create $4.5 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits.

When it comes to reducing emissions, Moe said investments like FCL’s are needed.

“Canada will not reach net zero goals that we’ve put forward as a nation without the full participation and recognition of what’s happening here in Saskatchewan,” he said.

“We are truly on the forefront of a low carbon economy in our province, in our nation and around the world. Today I think that is on full display.”

Jobs The Co-op Refinery Complex pictured Dec. 9, 2019. Premier Scott Moe says bio diesel is part of the province’s plan towards reducing emissions.
The Co-op Refinery Complex pictured Dec. 9, 2019. Premier Scott Moe says bio diesel is part of the province’s plan towards reducing emissions. Photo by TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

FCL’s new renewable diesel plant will have production capacity of 15,000 barrels per day or about 1 billion litres per year.

The $360 million canola crush plant will complement the diesel facility, using 1.1 million tonnes of canola seed to produce 450,000 tonnes of oil.

The crusher will supply the diesel facility with 50 per cent of the feedstock. The remaining 50 per cent will come from other canola crush facilities.

“The fields of western Canada’s farmers are akin to the oil fields of oil producing nations, but our fields renew annually with each new crop,” said Murad Al-Katib, the president and CEO of AGT Foods.

Jobs Advertisement

AGT signed a memorandum of understanding with FCL to construct the canola crush facility. FCL owns the majority stake of the canola crush plant with 51 per cent to AGT’s 49 per cent.

Banda said the company is committed to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 and reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.

Net-zero emissions are achieved by offsetting emissions through technologies like carbon capture.

“There is a transition, and as we build more renewable fuels, assuming the market stays flat … for every renewable litre you build that’s one less fossil fuel we have to produce,” he said.

With the expectation fewer fossil fuels will be produced, Banda said this means less production at the current refinery in Regina.

“We do see that decline and we are seeing that decline at our refinery,” he said. “We have not been running it full capacity for some time and we have to transition.”

Banda said renewable diesel can completely replace fossil fuel diesel.

“That’s significant and critical in terms of our commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low carbon economy. I think the key point is it will take time,” he said. “Our commitment and partnerships help us ensure that’s a smooth transition.”

Moe said the new complex supports the province’s goal of increasing value-added agriculture revenue to $10 billion.

Like FCL, Viterra and Cargill have announced plans to each build a canola crushing plant in Regina.

“This is one of the largest investments ever made in this province,” Moe said. “It’s the fifth significant investment we’ve seen in this industry over the course of the past year.”

Jobs Advertisement

Jobs Canola grows in a field roughly 20 kilometres south of Regina in this file photo from 2018.
Canola grows in a field roughly 20 kilometres south of Regina in this file photo from 2018. Photo by BRANDON HARDER /Regina Leader-Post

Along with producing fuel, Al-Katib said the complex plays a role in boosting production for other canola-based products.

He explained the company will look at opportunities to produce protein from canola meal. It will also find ways to mix that protein with other proteins derived from pulse crops.

“When we take canola protein and pulse protein together, the complementary of that gives you a much more digestible and complete protein, that is much more bio-available to the human consumer,” he explained.

Despite concerns that using more canola to produce fuel could negatively affect food security, Al-Katib said the production process should actually benefit the food system.

He explained technology allows them to extract proteins that could be used to feed farmed fish, for example.

“We think we can achieve both, where we gain on the food side and on the fuel side,” he said. “We don’t feel we’re taking out of the food system. We feel we’re leveraging it and bolstering the availability of the food stock.”

jsimes@postmedia.com

The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Regina Leader-Post has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

Jobs Regina Leader Post Headline News logo

Regina Leader Post Headline News

Sign up to receive daily headline news from Regina Leader-Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.