Construction of Bowden grain terminal delayed until spring

Paterson Grain says it is disappointed it couldn’t start building the $40-million terminal this fall

Paterson Grain is delaying construction of its Bowden grain terminal until spring.

The family-owned Winnipeg-based grain-handling company had hoped to begin construction this fall but meeting Alberta Environment requirements in regards to wetlands is taking longer than expected, said the company’s corporate development officer.

“It is unfortunate, but it does not change our view of the project and we continue to press on,” said Shane Paterson. “We are very bullish about the project. As far as I am concerned everything is proceeding well. I am very confident we will be able to work through these relatively minor challenges.”

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Paterson Grain announced in March it wanted to build an ultra-modern 55,000-tonne grain-handling facility that could cost up to $40 million to construct. Shane Paterson and president and CEO Andrew Paterson came to Red Deer County last month to speak with Mayor Jim Wood and other county officials. Along with the environmental challenge, they discussed the intersection at Highway 587 and Range Road 12, a kilometre west of Bowden and where the grain terminal project will be accessed. Wood said Alberta Transportation, which won’t be involved in any cost-sharing agreement, has ordered the upgrade at the intersection. He said Paterson Grain and the county are now in negotiations on how much both sides will contribute to the cost, which is expected to be between $500,000 and $750,000.

“Typically in Red Deer County, development pays for itself because that is where we are at and how we do things, but I believe that intersection had problems in the past and is not the best intersection to start with,” said Wood. “Because we know that intersection is not all Paterson, what would be the appropriate contribution? We are still under negotiations.”

Shane Paterson also said the intersection shouldn’t be a stumbling block.

Wood added that he’s pleased the Paterson project is moving forward, especially since GrainsConnect Canada said in August that its Niobe grain terminal, a kilometre north of Innisfail, has been put on hold.

“There was no talk of this elevator not taking place, or anything like that. It was just normal conversations that just happen during big projects,” said Wood. “It’s very much a go.”

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