Cargill’s Canadian arm is set to start work within the next month on capacity expansions at its grain elevator in southern Manitoba’s Red River Valley.
The company said Thursday it plans to triple storage capacity and nearly double its rail car spot at its farm service centre on the Canadian National Railway (CN) line at Morris, about 50 km south of Winnipeg.
The expansion will include 20,000 tonnes of grain storage space, boosting capacity to 30,000 tonnes, and an increase in rail car capacity to 100 cars, up from 54.
“Improved access to rail and increased storage capabilities remains a top priority,” Jeff Vassart, president for Cargill’s Canadian business, said in a release, citing the past year’s record crop. “We recognize the need for more storage and additional car spots for the entire value chain to maximize opportunity.”
From a farmer’s point of view, general manager Richard Reynolds said Thursday, the expansion is expected to improve capacity in the surrounding area and provide more “long-term solutions” for rail access.
“This expansion will allow us to remain competitive in the region and help us better meet our customers’ needs by allowing us to ship more grain,” he said. Other handlers operating at Morris include Paterson Grain and special-crops processor Horizon Agro.
Farmers now delivering to Cargill at Morris “will benefit by having improved opportunities to deliver grain throughout the year,” the company said.
Cargill said it expects to increase its Morris centre’s staff in the wake of the expansion, which is expected to be complete for the 2015 harvest, but the company hasn’t yet confirmed how many more positions will be needed.
Morris is one of seven Manitoba communities where Cargill handles grain. The company last year expanded its elevator at Elva, about 85 km south of Virden in the province’s southwest, by about 70 per cent to 24,500 tonnes of storage. — AGCanada.com Network