LETHBRIDGE, ALTA.—A massive pea processing facility has been completed in Lethbridge.
PIP International, a Canadian-based agrifood company, announced its new $20-million pea-processing pilot facility has opened.
“With Prairie farmers producing such a large percentage of Canada’s pulse crop, the opportunities to process these crops and create new, higher-value products closer to home are enormous,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, in a release. “The Government of Canada’s investment in this innovative pilot facility will redefine plant-based protein for the region, support our economy and continue to position Canada as a global leader in sustainable production.”
In partnership with the federal government, Alberta provided PIP $1 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support engineering and the purchase of processing equipment for the pilot facility.
The project required a mid-sized craft brewery to be converted into a fully commercialized pea processing and testing centre.
The pilot facility is the first step in a two-phase project. The facility will assist the company in testing its new extraction technology that aims to improve the quality, purity and environmental impact of the protein isolates before scaling up production.
The first phase of the project received funding through the Emerging Opportunities program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which supports strategic initiatives that contribute to significant sector growth and job creation in Alberta.
Phase 2 will create a new $150-million yellow pea protein facility in Lethbridge. Construction of the facility will begin in late 2022.
Once operational, the facility will process roughly 126,000 tonnes of yellow peas annually and support more than $75 million in annual pea contracts for local and regional growers.