A 3D model of Saskatchewan's first renewable diesel plant was on display in North Regina on Tuesday.
Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL), in partnership with global pulse-processor and supplier AGT Foods, unveiled the model and provided details of the project, which is estimated to cost upwards of $2.5 billion.
"OK, tell me you're not crazy about the model. It is pretty cool. It means something different when we ask for visuals and they produce a 3D model for us," Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said.
There were three components of the project on display: a renewable diesel facility, a canola crushing plant and a carbon capture facility. FCL will fully own the diesel facility, with the canola crusher being a joint venture between AGT and FCL.
Gilbert Ledressay, vice president of manufacturing at FCL, said the plant will help reduce emissions. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC News)
Gilbert Ledressay, vice president of manufacturing at FCL, said Tuesday's open house was meant for community members to voice any concerns about the multi-billion-dollar project.
He said the open house was also held to accommodate the Ministry of Environment's public consultation requirements.
"When you submit a technical proposal for construction, this is a part of the process," he said.
AGT CEO Murad Al-Katib said his company will be responsible for providing roughly half of the feedstock oil required for 15,000 barrels of diesel production every day.
"Think of the canola fields of Saskatchewan like the Saudi Arabian oil fields, only every August we harvest a new oil field. That's what this project is all about," he said.
AGT CEO Murad Al-Katib said AGT said it will be responsible for providing roughly half of the feedstock oil required for 15,000 barrels of diesel production every day. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC News)
The project could start construction as early as the summer of next year and be completed in 2028.
Ledressay said the renewable fuel could diminish the use of fossil fuels.
"It can be used for a 100 per cent replacement of fossil fuel in any current diesel engine, whether it's a combine all the way to an airplane," he said.
Construction materials have seen 42 per cent inflation over the past five years, according to Statistics Canada.
When the plan was first introduced in 2022, CBC reported that the estimated cost to build the plant was $2 billion.
In the latest update on Tuesday, Ledressay said the estimate to build the plant is now at $2.5 billion. He said that figure, too, is likely going to see an increase.
"We've had indications already from our design team on the canola crush and on the renewable diesel that the numbers are rising," he said.
FCL already operates this refinery in Regina. During the construction phase, FCL said, the new diesel project will contribute $2.1 billion to the city’s economy and is expected to create more than 3,300 new jobs. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC News)
During the construction phase, FCL said, the diesel project will contribute $2.1 billion to the city's economy and is expected to create more than 3,300 new jobs. Mayor Masters said the numbers are a sign of what's to come.
"I think it really bodes well for our universities and Sask. Polytechnic, to be producing the technicians and experts that are going to not just be involved in this type of technology, but all of the spin off that will come," Masters said.