Portage Simplot Plant to double in size

14.02.2018 12:15
By: Matthew Higgs

The $460 million project will begin in the spring

Portage la Prairie, MB (CKLQ) - The Simplot Plant in Portage la Prairie will be going through an $460 million expansion - more than doubling the size of the current building.

The facility will be increasing from 180,000 to 460,000 square feet and will more than double the plant's need for potato from regional growers.

The J.R. Simplot Company will be increasing it employment with 87 expected full-time positions to be filled.

The project is expected to be completed in fall of 2019 and will start this spring. During construction, operations will still go on.

The Manitoba Government will be assisting the project with $6.31 million going into road improvements and capital investments. They will also spend $522,000 for employee training.

Manitoba Hydro will also be providing $1 million in PowerSmart program funding for electrical and natural gas projects.

Premier Brian Pallister said it is the largest investment by a company in the province since he took office in 2016.

He is encouraging other companies to do the same, even challenging McCain Foods, which has their plant on the eastern side of the city.

"We are encouraging McCain to make bigger investment so they can now have the record." said Pallister.

Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler said it will increase potato production in the province, and also encourage future projects in the Ag sector.