- Construction Remains on Schedule / Strong Demand for Canola Oil Driving
Record Seedings -
WINNIPEG, July 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Legumex Walker Inc. (TSX: LWP), today
provided an update on preparations for start-up of the Pacific Coast
Canola (PCC) crushing facility. Construction of the facility, the
first commercial-scale canola crushing operation west of the Rocky
Mountains, remains on schedule, with the facility expected to commence
commercial operations in the first quarter of 2013.
"The commencement of canola processing at the PCC facility early next
year will be a transformational milestone for our Company," said Joel
Horn, president and chief executive officer, Legumex Walker Inc., which
has an 85% ownership interest in PCC. "The addition of the canola
crushing operations will significantly increase the scale of our
business, effectively doubling our existing capacity. Moreover, the
addition of canola oil and meal to our product offerings is expected to
meaningfully expand our margins."
Mr. Horn added, "Demand for canola oil in North America and
internationally continues to exhibit strong growth. As the first and
only commercial-scale canola crushing operation west of the Rocky
Mountains and with one of the most experienced teams in the industry,
PCC is well positioned to capitalize on this significant opportunity."
Strong Demand for Canola Oil Driving Record Seedings
Demand for canola oil in North America continues to exhibit strong
growth as consumer preferences for healthier oils and government
mandates banning trans fatty acids are driving food processors to seek
alternatives to conventional vegetable oils. Informa Economics
estimates that U.S. canola oil consumption will increase 47 percent
from 2010 to 2012 to 4.10 billion pounds from 2.78 billion pounds.
North American growers are responding to this demand as evidenced by a
record estimated canola planting acreage for the 2012/2013 growing
season in both the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) has reported 2012/13 canola seeding estimates of 1.6 million
acres, an increase of 52% over the previous season. In Canada,
StatsCan has reported canola seeding estimates of 21 million acres, an
increase of 11% over the previous season.
Importantly, 2012/13 planting acreage in the Western U.S. region
(Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon), which is considered local
sourcing for the PCC facility in Warden, Washington, increased more
than 50% to approximately 100,000 acres from approximately 66,000 acres
for the previous season.
"The increased level of canola seeding in the Western U.S. should enable
us to source more feedstock for processing locally during our first
year of operation than originally anticipated," said Mr. Horn. "With
the next nearest canola crushing facility about 500 miles to the
northeast, the proximity of our facility in Washington State to both
growers and customers, including the substantial food processing
industry in the Pacific Northwest, is a key advantage for us."
Construction Proceeding on Plan
Construction of the PCC facility has moved into its next phase - the
installation of primary processing components and equipment. Most of
these components are on site, with the rest scheduled to be delivered
over the next several weeks. The deodorizer and vertical seed
conditioner have been placed. Placement of the meal cooker and
expellers is expected to be performed before the end of July. PCC will
begin commissioning the facility during the fourth quarter of this year
with the expectation of commencing commercial operations in the first
quarter of 2013.
About Pacific Coast Canola and the Pacific Coast Canola Crushing
Pacific Coast Canola is constructing its first canola crushing plant in
Warden, WA. With a nominal capacity 1,100 metric tonnes (MT) of canola
per day, the Warden facility will produce expeller-pressed canola oil
and high-quality canola meal. The plant will be the first
commercial-scale canola crushing operation west of the Rockies and is
well-positioned to supply the expanding demand for canola products on
the west coast of the United States. Warden is in the heart of a
multi-state region that is ideal for canola production and well-served
by rail and surface transportation routes. The plant has a design
output capacity of 142,500 MT (approximately 314,000 pounds) of canola
oil and 227,000 MT of canola meal per year.
Pacific Coast Canola is 85 percent owned by Legumex Walker and 15
percent by Glencore Grain Investment LLC.
About Legumex Walker Inc.
Legumex Walker is a growth-oriented processor and merchandiser of pulses
(lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas), other special crops and canola
products. The Company is one of the largest processors of pulses and
other special crops in Canada with 11 processing facilities
strategically located in key growing regions in the Canadian Prairie
Provinces, the American Midwest, and China, a global sales, logistics,
and distribution platform and access to multimodal transportation
capabilities. In addition the Company has an 85 percent interest in
Pacific Coast Canola, LLC, a company that is constructing a canola
oilseed processing facility in Washington State.
This press release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities laws,
which may include, but are not limited to statements relating to the
construction, operation and staffing of the Company's majority-owned
canola crushing facility, projected US canola oil consumption; and
estimated canola planting acreage and seeding estimates. Such forward-looking information reflects the Company's views with respect to future
events and is subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions,
including timing and cost overrun risks associated with the
construction of the PCC crushing facility; weather related risks;
fluctuations in wholesale prices of crops; accuracy of information
relating to estimated planting acreage and seeding estimates provided
by third parties noted in this press release and those set out in the
annual information form of Legumex Walker dated March 28, 2012
available on sedar.com. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, except as required bylaw.
SOURCE Legumex Walker Inc.
For further information:
INVESTOR & MEDIA RELATIONS
Manager of Investor Relations - Legumex Walker Inc.
(416) 815-0700 ext. 257