Richardson plans site expansions in Sask., Man.

Grain handler Richardson International plans to spend $12 million this year on expansions at three of its facilities in Saskatchewan and one at Brandon, Man.

The projects are “the latest in a series of significant investments we have made to expand and improve our operations from grain sourcing through to canola oil processing,” Richardson president Curt Vossen said in a release.

“It solidifies Richardson’s ongoing commitment to develop the most efficient pipeline of grain movement in Western Canada, which is essential in helping us bring agriculture full circle.”

At Brandon, the company said it will double its current grain storage capacity to 20,500 tonnes and expand the site’s rail car capacity to handle a 112-car unit train.

In southwestern Saskatchewan, the company plans to boost its grain storage capacity at Swift Current to 30,000 tonnes, and also expand its rail car capacity to handle a 112-car unit train.

In northeastern Saskatchewan, Richardson said it will upgrade its rail car capacity at Crooked River, about 60 km east of Melfort, to handle a 104-car unit train.

Also, at Whitewood, Sask., about 110 km south of Yorkton, the company plans to expand its fertilizer shed to a capacity of 4,800 tonnes, up from about 800 tonnes currently.

By the time these expansions are complete, the company said in its release, a total of 30 Richardson grain handling facilities will be capable of loading trains of 100 cars or more.

Winnipeg-based Richardson last year budgeted $40 million for expansions of 15 Prairie facilities and one at Hamilton, Ont.

During a shuffle of grain-handling assets in 2007 around the merger of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool with Agricore United into Viterra, Richardson came out the second-largest grain company in Canada, boosting its handling capacity by 50 per cent.

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