Viterra plans new eastern Alberta elevator

Glencore’s Prairie grain handling arm Viterra plans to stake a new claim in the northeastern Alberta market with a new high-throughput elevator at Vegreville.

The company announced Monday it has picked up the necessary regulatory approvals and expects to start construction along Canadian National Railway (CN) track this spring.

The elevator is expected to have storage capacity for 35,000 tonnes of grain and a loop track system to spot up to 130 railcars.

GrainsConnect Canada, the joint grain-handling venture between GrainCorp and Zen-Noh Grain, also recently announced plans for a facility of the same scale at Vegreville, with construction expected to start in mid-2017.

Until the new facilities are up, Vegreville, a town of about 5,700 people, has no federally licensed grain elevators; the closest high-throughput is Richardson Pioneer’s facility at Lavoy, about 15 km southeast.

“We have a long and successful history in this area of Alberta, so we’re proud to continue supporting our local customers with a new facility that will allow us to provide the industry-leading standard of service that Viterra is known for,” Kyle Jeworski, Viterra’s CEO for North America, said in Monday’s release.

Viterra operates high-throughput elevators at Star, about 65 km northwest of Vegreville, and at Killam, about 100 km south, plus smaller elevators at Vermilion, about 90 km east, and at Camrose, about 100 km southwest. — Network

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