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Milk concentration plant to open spring 2025

A state-of-the-art milk concentration plant is under construction in Blackfalds, Alta.

Dairy Innovation West (DIW) is the first of its kind in Canada. The $75 million facility is owned by the Western Milk Pool that is supporting processing expansion in Western Canada and to reduce transportation costs for Western Milk Pool producers.

The facility will have the capacity to accommodate up to 300 million litres of milk from western dairy farmers per year.

Once operational, there will be a reduction of the western Canadian dairy industry’s environmental footprint through the concentration of liquid raw milk. For every three or four trucks of raw milk coming in from local farms, one truck of concentrate will leave for a processing plant. DIW has the capability to produce reverse osmosis milk ingredients, whole and skim, as well as ultra-filtered skim milk and cream.

DIW Chair Henry Holtmann said it is a significant leap forward for the dairy industry.

“This project is not only setting a precedent for facilities like this in the country, but it is also a testament to western Canadian dairy farmers’ commitment to innovation and sustainability,” Holtmann said. “As we continue to advance, we are confident that DIW will serve as a shining example of what can be achieved when farmers come together to drive positive change.”

On-site construction activity started in December 2023. Over the next several months, the focus will be on piling work, groundwork, and fabrication of the precast building panels.

Substantial completion of the facility is targeted for November 2024, with operational testing to begin first with water, followed by milk trials from January through March 2025.

The Western Milk Pool (WMP) was initially formed in 1997 as a large milk shed, with a pooling agreement for revenue and markets. The partnership has created a new governance model that allows for a more cohesive, organized, and unified representation of western dairy farmers at the national level and with all dairy stakeholders.

The official opening of the facility is on track for spring 2025.

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