A group of farmers in southeast Saskatchewan is looking to fellow producers for support in building a $50-to-$75 million farmer-owned grain and commodity handling facility.
Comtrax Logistics Solutions is planning a 260-plus car track system with grain handling and storage capacity for around 60,000 tonnes. The facility, which would likely be located in the Weyburn area, would trans-load crops, fertilizer, crude oil, aggregate and other commodities on CP Rail’s Soo Line.
“Farmer investment in grain handling has dwindled with the sale of many of the farmer owned grain companies over the past decade,” notes Weyburn-area farmer Mark Bratrud. “In addition to being a great investment opportunity, this proposed project will again provide farmers with the service they desire along with a voice in grain handling.”
As he explains in the conversation above, the plan is to operate the facility as a fee-for-service public house, with half or more of the space possibly being sold as condo units to grain companies and end users.
Depending on track size and construction schedule, they figure the total project cost will be between $50 and $75 million. Shares in the project will be sold to producers at a later date, as well some of the funding could potentially be raised through commercial partnerships.
“It’s time for producers to have a voice and for farmers to have some influence again in this modern and ever changing industry. Potential commercial partners will be watching the level of interest shown by farmers,” says Bratrud.
The group plans to host 11 producer meetings in the next few weeks, beginning in Regina on December 8. Meetings are also slated for Ogema, Weyburn, Carlyle, Radville, Estevan, Oungre, Montmartre, Milestone, Corning and Sedley.