A new state-of-the-art dairy concentration facility will be built near Lacombe and Red Deer in 2021, with the capacity to accommodate up to 300 million litres of milk per year. The announcement was made this week at the Alberta Dairy Conference held at Edmonton, Alta.
The facility is being dubbed Dairy Innovation West (DIW). It will be owned by the Western Milk Pool (WMP) members and operated by Vitalus Nutrition Inc.
This type of operation is the first of its kind in Canada and will use advanced technology to remove water from raw milk that will create concentrated components required by dairy processors to be used in a variety of dairy products, the company says.
“We are very excited about this new partnership and are looking forward to getting shovels in the ground this spring,” says Henry Holtmann, chairman of the WMP. “This is good news for dairy farmers, dairy processors, and the economy in Western Canada.”
A key priority in building DIW is to reduce the environmental impacts of transporting milk across the four western provinces. According to a news release, the facility will reduce trucking emissions by 50 per cent by reducing the volume.
“Instead of two trucks on the road, there would only be one,” says Alberta Milk chairman Tom Kootstra. “Dairy farmers are always seeking more opportunities to work smarter and continue to be stewards of the land.”
The site itself is 20 acres and there’s room for future expansion.
Shovels will hit the dirt in April 2020, and construction is planned to be completed by March 2021.