New Pea Processing Pilot Facility Opened in Lethbridge

by | May 30, 2022 | Business, Pulse

A new $20-million pea-processing pilot facility in Lethbridge, Alta. has been opened by PIP International, a Canadian-based agri-food company, a May 30 news release said.

“With demand for plant-based foods increasing globally, investing in PIP’s pilot facility is part of a larger strategy to grow and diversify Alberta’s emerging agri-food sector,” Nate Horner, provincial minister of agriculture, forestry and rural economic development, said in the release.

The facility was previously a mid-sized craft brewery and was converted into a fully commercialized pea processing and testing centre. It was funded with $1 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership from the provincial and federal governments. The funding was used to support engineering and the purchase of processing equipment for the pilot facility, the release said.

This the first phase of a two-phase project which will see PIP’s testing it’s new extraction technology. The report noted this technology is meant to improve the quality, purity and environmental impact of the protein isolates before scaling up production for the second phase of the project.

The second phase of the project will see PIP International establish a new $150-million yellow pea protein facility in Lethbridge. Once operational the facility will create 100 new jobs, process about 126,000 tonnes of yellow peas annually and support more than $75 million in annual pea contracts for local and regional growers, the release said.

“PIP appreciates ongoing government support that encourages further investment and growth in the agri-food industry. These funds were key to meeting fall 2022 protein isolate deliveries demanded by several plant-based multinational companies. Our pilot plant ensures the market will be ready and primed for the large production volumes of our UP.P protein isolate in 2023,” Christine Lewington, CEO of PIP International, said in the release.

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