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Canada: Regina pasta plant project delayed until 2013

Plans to build a $50-million pasta processing plant in Regina have been put on the back burner

regina pasta plant

Alliance Grain Traders says the project announced last year has been put on hold until 2013, "in order to allow us to monitor developments in the North American grain industry."

"Pending developments, such as the de-monopolization of the Canadian Wheat Board and the proposed sale of Viterra to Glencore, as well as the free trade negotiations between Canada and the European union will continue to reshape the landscape of the industry," company CEO Murad Al-Katib said in a news release.

"Accordingly, management believes it is prudent to focus on our balance sheet at this time and improve our business metrics."

He added that planning and design work for "larger projects" such as the pasta and pulse plant, "will continue so that they are ready for implementation when we feel it is the right time to do so."

Last October, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the announcement of the pasta plant was proof of the benefits of dismantling the wheat board's single-desk marketing system.

The chair of the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance says the delay of the project is directly linked to the end of the board's monopoly.

"Our wheat board had a policy of treating all processors equally so large processors could not obtain volume discounts from farmers and push out smaller operations, and now that fairness will end with the single desk," Bill Gehl said in a news release.

"For small grain processors like Alliance Grain Traders to survive, they need the fairness our single-desk wheat board brought to the marketplace."

Source: www.ctv.ca

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