ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, U.S. — Bunge North America announced on Sept. 19 that it plans to increase the capacity at a second of its four canola processing plants in Western Canada, the facility in Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada.

In October 2010, Bunge announced another project that will more than double crushing capacity at the facility in Altona, Manitoba, as part of a multiyear expansion program in Canada.

"Expanding and upgrading our capacity in Canada is a natural way to grow Bunge's North American business as domestic and export demand for both canola oil and meal continues to increase," said Soren Schroder, president and chief executive officer of Bunge North America. "By increasing capacity in Ft. Saskatchewan, we also improve operational efficiency so that we can better serve all our customers in the value chain, from farmers to food and feed manufacturers."

The proposed project would more than double Ft. Saskatchewan's current capacity of 850 tonnes a day.

"Farmers around Ft. Saskatchewan are responding to increased demand for canola by planting more acres. Yields are also improving thanks to technology, making this region a logical place to expand," said Rick Watson, Bunge's country manager in Canada. "While most of the oil and meal that will be produced from the expansion in Altona will remain in North America, the additional product from Ft. Saskatchewan will go to both North American and offshore markets."

In addition to Ft. Saskatchewan and Altona, Bunge has processing plants in Nipawin, Saskatchewan; Hamilton, Ontario; and Harrowby, Manitoba, Canada.

Pending all necessary approvals, the expansion is expected to go on line in 2014.