Bunge is finally starting operations at its new canola processing plant at Altona, Manitoba.
“The edible oil refinery is operating and we are testing the crush plant,” confirmed Deb Seidel, a spokesperson for Bunge North America, in an email on Friday.
The new facility is designed to process 2,500 metric tonnes per day — more than double the volume of the old Bunge plant located immediately to the south on the same property in Altona.
Construction of the new plant was announced in October of 2010. It was originally supposed to be completed in time to process the 2012 crop, but the project was held up by delays in equipment delivery and other factors.
The old canola processing plant — previously owned by CanAmera Foods, CSP Foods and Co-op Vegetable Oils (CVO) — is being shut down.
Bunge is seeing increasing competition for canola in southern Manitoba, as a new 1,400 ton per day canola plant owned by NorthStar Agri-Industries came online at Hallock, Minnesota in 2012. NorthStar opened a receiving site at Winkler, Manitoba earlier this fall.
In addition to Altona, Bunge has announced an expansion of its canola processing plant at Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. The company also has processing facilities at Harrowby, Manitoba; Nipawin, Saskatchewan; and Hamilton, Ontario.