Cargill will break ground on a new canola processing facility in Regina, Sask., to support the growing global demand for canola products.

The company expects to begin construction on the $350 million project, which will have a similar design to Cargill’s existing Camrose facility, early next year with plans to be operational by early 2024.

The company will also update and modernize its canola facilities in Camrose and Clavet over the next 12 months to increase volume and broaden capabilities at both locations, it announced.

“We are confident in the continued growth and competitiveness of the canola processing industry and look forward to helping farmers access increasing market demand,” said Cargill Canada president Jeff Vassart.

The new facility is projected to have an annual production capacity of 1 million metric tonnes and will provide a consistent and fast point of delivery for farmers and end users. This investment will generate approximately 1 million hours of employment throughout the construction phase. Upon completion, the company expects the facility will add approximately 50 full-time positions.

The Regina, Camrose and Clavet projects build upon the company’s work to modernize and expand capacity across its North American oilseeds network. In March, Cargill announced a series of other projects across its U.S. soy processing facilities, valued at $475 million dollars.

Canola demand is indeed increasing globally — although canola acreage has remained fairly steady over the past decade, total production has increased because of increases in average yield, according to the Canola Council of Canada. The industry’s goal is to increase average yields to 52 bushels/acre to meet global market demand of 26 million tonnes by 2025.

Canola seed production has steadily increased over the years. According to numbers from the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, in 2020 there were 65,654 acres of pedigreed canola seed produced in Canada, up almost 12,000 acres from the year prior.