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Cargill increases Alta. elevator capacity

Cargill increases Alta. elevator capacity

The company expects the Lethbridge upgrades to be complete in time for harvest

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Cargill making a multimillion dollar investment to help Alberta producers move more grain.

The company announced plans for a $20 million upgrade to its elevator in Lethbridge, Alta. in April.

The investment will more than double the elevator’s current loading capacity, said Allan Facchinutti, Alberta’s regional commercial leader for Cargill’s ag business.

“Currently we can only accept 56 cars at the Lethbridge elevator from our rail supplier, CP,” he told today.  “Once we finish the expansion, the elevator will be able to accommodate 134 cars.”

Using an average load of 90 tons per car, Facchinutti estimates about 5,000 tons of grain can currently be loaded from the Lethbridge elevator at one time. That number will increase to about 12,000 tons once the renovations are complete.

The investment shows that Cargill is committed to helping farmers move grain, especially in light of the rail transport issues in Western Canada, he said.

Cargill expects the expansion to be complete in time for harvest.

Producers are optimistic about Cargill’s timeline, especially if they can deliver on all of their intended targets.

“Investments in ag infrastructure is always good news for producers,” Ward Toma, general manager of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, told today. “But we really need the rail cars and maybe Cargill has confidence in rail performance in the future. That’s what will give everybody a solution” to the grain backlog issue.

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