Roquette celebrated the grand opening of its pea protein processing facility at Portage la Prairie, Man., on Wednesday in a futuristic virtual ceremony hosted by former Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield.

The $600 million facility, which received its first farmer delivery of peas in November 2020, is the world’s largest pea protein plant, with capacity to process 125,000 tonnes of yellow peas each year.

“We see this as a transformational event in our history and a boost to the global plant-based food sector,” noted Roquette CEO Pierre Courduroux. “Diets have changed considerably in recent years, and the desire for alternative proteins continues to grow. Our company is proud to bring this amazing new facility online to serve demand in North America and around the world.”

The event featured congratulatory messages from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown also discussed his company’s close relationship with Roquette.

Chris Hadfield singing David Bowie’s “Space Odyssey” as part of the virtual grand opening event for Roquette’s pea plant at Portage.

When combined with Roquette’s plant in France, the company now has world-leading capacity to process 250,000 tonnes of peas into protein for human consumption each year.

Related: Roquette powers up $600 million pea protein plant

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