Alliance Grain investing in Canadian pasta complex

by Eric Schroeder
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REGINA, SASK. — Alliance Grain Traders Inc. said it will invest up to C$50 million ($49.3 million) toward the construction of a pasta and pulse processing and logistics complex to be located in the Global Transportation Hub in Regina. Construction on the facility is expected to begin in 2012.

Alliance Grain said the site will process durum wheat into semolina for the production of the Arbella pasta brand in Canada, as well as be used for pulse processing capacity for production of ingredient pulse flours, proteins, starches and fibers. The distribution center is expected to capitalize on the availability of ocean containers, trucks and intermodal units at the GTH site for domestic and export shipments.

“We are continuing our growth and expansion strategy of our global packaged food and ingredients platforms in pulses and milled durum wheat,” said Murah Al-Katib, president and chief executive officer. “We have always been focused on creating value through origin-based processing, locating our processing facilities where high quality crops are grown. We seek to create value for our farmer suppliers and our shareholders by shipping finished food products and not just the raw basic commodities to markets around the world.

“Canada is a dominant world supplier of durum wheat and pulses. With our strong Canadian base built over the past decade, Western Canada was a logical choice for our new processing complex. The GTH will provide a competitive freight advantage for us that makes this a sensible investment.”

Huseyin Arslan, executive chairman of the board of directors for Alliance, said Alliance has built a successful global pasta business based out of its production facilities in Turkey, and with good conditions in Canada feels that significant opportunities exist to expand operations.

“Our relationships with growers in Western Canada and our relationships with our international customers we sell to everyday create opportunities and synergies that we feel may be realized through this investment,” Mr. Arslan said. “This expansion is an important step in ensuring a strong foundation for our future by solidifying our pasta milling capacity in Canada and moving us further up the value chain in our pulses platform. This, we feel, will assist in enabling us to continue to successfully and profitably supply the world with pulse ingredients and our other products.”

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