Wastewater Treatment Upgrades Clears Path for Expansion Plans

CANADA - An agreement on wastewater treatment involving Maple Leaf Consumer Foods and three levels of government has cleared the way for Maple Leaf to move to a full second shift at its Brandon pork processing plant, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 11 March 2008
clock icon 4 minute read

As part of a 15.5 million dollar funding agreement announced Friday, Manitoba will contribute 7.8 million dollars, including 3.9 million allocated under the province's share of the federal government's Community Development Trust, with the City of Brandon and Maple Leaf kicking in the balance to expand wastewater treatment capacity.

The expansion follows upgrades in 2007 that resulted in an 85 per cent reduction in nitrogen levels and a 94 per cent reduction in phosphorous levels allowing Maple Leaf to increase processing capacity to 75 thousand hogs per week.

Maple Leaf Consumer Foods president Rick Young says this latest expansion will allow Maple Leaf to meet new provincial environmental guidelines and accommodate a full second shift.

Rick Young-Maple Leaf Consumer Foods

The velocities that we're going to move through the Brandon plant will move up to 86 thousand hogs a week.

The standard for water discharge, after going through wastewater treatment, have been established and we will meet or exceed those through that process.

The increased capacities will coincide with the wastewater treatment capabilities.

That has to come first so we would have that in place probably first quarter of 2009.

Our hogs will come principally out of Manitoba.

They do today and we'll continue to get our hogs from Manitoba and some further west here in Canada.

Our market, in terms of selling pork or value added processed meats, is in Canada and in fact in the U.S. and globally.

Young notes expanding the Brandon plant's pork processing capacity expected to result in the creation of an additional 650 to 675 jobs at the Brandon facility with those new jobs expected to come on line by the conclusion of 2009 when the full second shift is up and running.

Capacity Increase

Upgrades for Neepawa's industrial wastewater treatment facility have also cleared the way for Hytek to move its plans forward for the expansion of its Springhill Farms pork processing plant. The CAN$35 million dollar investment aims to increase the capacity by 75 percent.

As part of a funding agreement announced last Friday, the province will contribute CAN$11.8 million, including $5.9 million allocated under Manitoba's share of the federal government's Community Development Trust to assist the town's construction of a new industrial wastewater treatment facility.

Springhill Farms CEO Guy Baudry says the upgrades will allow Hytek to take the processing plant to the next level.

Guy Baudry-Hytek Limited

At the present level the plant is processing approximately 800 thousand hogs per year and one of the limitations today to additional capacity is the existing wastewater treatment facility that is in place.

There is not an ability to treat additional discharges from the plant.

Therefore we have been working on securing a new wastewater treatment facility that has the additional capacity and also the ability to meet the new environmental regulations of the current government.

In saying this it was extremely important to be able to secure additional funding for this new wastewater treatment facility so that we could increase the processing capacity from 800 thousand hogs to a projected 1.4 million hogs per year.

Baudry says phase one of the processing plant expansion, which will occur primarily in 2008, will create an additional 100 to 125 new jobs at the plant which will be followed by an additional 75 new jobs once the wastewater treatment plant comes on line in the fall of 2009.

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