New milk concentration plant coming to Alberta in 2025

New milk concentration plant coming to Alberta in 2025
Jun 20, 2024

Up to 300 million litres of milk will be sourced from farmers each year

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Canada’s first milk concentration plant will open in Alberta in 2025.

Dairy Innovation West (DIW), a collaboration between dairy industry groups from Manitoba to B.C., will build the $73.7 million plant near Blackfalds at the Aspelund Industrial Park.

“We picked this location because in Alberta this is where the majority of their dairy farmers are,” Henry Holtmann, chair of DIW Buildings & Land Corporation, said in a video on X.

The concentration process involves using reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration to remove water from unpasteurized milk.

For many dairy products, that water is unnecessary.

“Raw milk contains approximately 87% water, with the remainder consisting of fats, proteins, lactose and minerals,” says Wafilin Systems, a Dutch industrial equipment supplier. “In the production of cheese, yoghurt or milk powder, this water content serves no purpose. Dairy processors cannot make full use of the water contained in the raw product.”

The facility in Alberta, which will employ about 185 people, will also source about 300 million litres of milk annually from dairy farmers in Western Canada.

For every four truckloads of raw milk arriving at the Alberta plant, as little as one truckload will depart for further processing.

These reductions will cut raw milk transportation costs by about $15 million, Holtmann told the Ponoka News last month.

This results in fewer transport trips and is part of the Canadian dairy industry’s commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, the Alberta government says.

This new milk concentration plant is also an example of how Alberta attracts investment.

Alberta’s Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit provides companies investing $10 million or more to build or expand agri-processing facilities with a 12 per cent tax credit.

Through this program, the Alberta government has granted approval for a tax credit of about $7.6 million.

This tax credit program “is doing its job helping make our province become a hotbed for major investments in food and agri-processing,” Agriculture and Irrigation Minister RJ Sigurdson said on X.

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