While the rest of the country roils in recession, a Killarney elevator is set to triple its grain-handling capacity.
Construction will be completed soon on a series of four new steel bins adjoining the existing large four-section white silo at Paterson Grain.
“We had more producers than we could handle,” said Larry Shackel, general manager for Paterson Grain, noting the upgraded facility should be loading by mid-Feb. “We just couldn’t handle all the grain before.”
Paterson Grain, which has annually been moving around 140,000 tonnes of mostly wheat and canola through its facility east of town for the past 10 years, is expecting that figure to move up to 200,000 tonnes in 2009.
The elevator previously had the capacity for storing 9,000 tonnes of grain. With the addition of the new bins, which can hold up to 4,500 tonnes each, or an overall increase of 18,000 tonnes, the plant’s capacity will now move up to 27,000 tonnes.
The company is also expanding its rail capacity for loading cars. “We now have the capacity for a 112-car track,” said Shackel.
Another reason for the company’s decision to expand was due to the closure of a number of elevators in the area, he added.
“Over the past three to five years, some of the smaller elevators have closed – in Minto, Cartwright and Ninga,” said Shackel.
Despite the wave of newer, modern facilities, the company plans to keep one of the town’s historical landmarks operating.
The old UGG (United Grain Growers) elevator, located at the corner of Broadway and Railway, will continue to be used for storage, said Shackel.