REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — Alliance Grain Traders Inc. has pushed back the ground-breaking date on its C$50 million pasta and pulse processing complex in Regina to 2013. The project, which was announced in October 2011, originally was slated to begin this year.

“The pasta project announced in 2011 will be deferred, and is now planned to begin in 2013 in order to allow us to monitor developments in the North American grain industry,” Murad Al-Katib, president and chief executive officer, said as part of first-quarter financials released May 10. “Pending developments, such as the demonopolization of the Canadian Wheat Board and the proposed sale of Viterra to Glencore, as well as the free trade negotiations between Canada and the E.U., will continue to reshape the landscape of the industry.

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

He added planning and design work for the company’s 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.”

Alliance Grain has 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.