Richardson budgets $40M in Prairie handling, retail upgrades

Four new ag service centres, a new fertilizer distribution centre, expansions at three elevators and more storage and equipment at six retail outlets are now on the to-do list for Canada’s biggest agribusiness.

Richardson International announced Monday it will add high-speed blenders, fertilizer storage and 6,000-square-foot chemical and seed warehouses at four of its Prairie grain elevators, making them full-service crop input centres.

The Winnipeg company said it will also add 14,000 tonnes of storage capacity each at four of its Prairie elevators this year, boosting their capacity by between 54 and 68 per cent.

Six Richardson Pioneer ag input outlets will also receive new high-speed fertilizer blenders, and the company also plans to build a new 35,000-tonne-capacity fertilizer distribution centre at Saskatoon.

The total investment for these projects will be about $40 million, the company said.

The company’s plan is to “provide efficiencies by having fully integrated grain handling and crop inputs businesses and being a multiple-service provider,” Darwin Sobkow, the company’s executive vice-president for agribusiness operations, said in a release.

The new crop input centres are to be added at four elevators Richardson formally bought from Glencore Xstrata’s Viterra business as of May 1: its South Lakes and Red River South elevators at Stony Mountain and Letellier, Man. and elevators at Kindersley, Sask. and Lacombe, Alta.

The three Richardson Pioneer elevators booked to receive 14,000-tonne storage expansions in 2013 include:

  • the 30,450-tonne capacity terminal at Carseland, east of Calgary;
  • the 23,750-tonne terminal at Shoal Lake, about 90 km north of Virden, Man.; and
  • the 17,350-tonne terminal at Crooked River, about 60 km east of Melfort, Sask.

High-speed fertilizer blenders are to be added at Richardson Pioneer locations at Oyen and Magrath, Alta.; at Kamsack, Saskatoon and Shellbrook, Sask.; and at Shoal Lake, Man.

The company noted it’s been working since 2007 to increase storage capacity at its Pioneer grain facilities and has completed 18 since then.

Related stories:
Richardson, CF close deals for Viterra assets, May 1, 2013
Richardson cleared for West Coast terminal expansion, April 15, 2013
Richardson to double down on Lethbridge crush, March 20, 2013

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