CARGILL announced last week that construction has begun to expand storage and rail capacity at its Viking, Alb., grain handling facility.
The expansion will be welcome news for local producers as it will improve terminal capacity available in the surrounding area. Storage capacity will increase by approximately 10,000 metric tons, and railcar handling will expand from 52 cars to 100.
"We recognize the need for more storage and additional car spots," said Jeff Vassart, president of Cargill Ltd. "We have an opportunity to manage how our grain will move and improve rail shipment efficiency."
Cargill's Viking location presently ships the majority of its grain via rail to Cargill's export terminals in North Vancouver, B.C., and Prince Rupert, B.C., so doubling its rail car capacity will create more efficiency throughout the industry.
"With the record 70 million mt crop Canada saw this year, the entire industry needs to optimize our ability to perform. Since extra volumes primarily will be exported, each element of the supply chain needs to be as efficient as possible. We all have challenges, whether it's on-farm, elevator, rail or port. Collaboration throughout the industry is what will drive change and improvement," Vassart added.
The expansion also will mean more jobs. Cargill will hire four more full-time positions ranging from sales to operations.
"We are proud to see constant growth in Canadian agriculture," said Ryan DeChief, general manager for Cargill AgHorizons in Viking. "Our Viking location and team of employees have a reputation of providing our growers with excellent customer service and effective handling. This expansion will even further enhance our ability to best serve our local customers."
The expansion is expected to be completed by February 2015.