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

Alberta will be home to the country’s first-ever milk concentration plant next year.

The province says Dairy Innovation West (DIW) Buildings & Land Corporation will build a $73.7 million plant in Blackfalds, which will open in 2025.

The plant will take raw milk and transform it to a new concentrated form that is more efficient to transport for further processing. Up to 300 million litres of milk will be sourced from western producers every year, according to the province.

One the concentration plant is operational, it will use reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration process to remove more than half the water content from unpasteurized raw milk.

Every four truckloads of raw milk will be concentrated into as little as one truckload of raw milk components that will be shipped to other processors to make products like cheese, butter, ice cream, and yogurt.

The province says this will reduce the number of milk transport trucks on the road, which will help the dairy industry meet its net-zero greenhouse gas target by 2050.

It’s funded, in part, by the province’s new Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit program, which encourages investment in value-added manufacturing in the agri-processing sector.

To qualify for the program, the province says corporations must invest at lest $10 million in a project to build or expand a value-added agri-processing facility in Alberta. The program gives a 12 per cent non-refundable tax credit based on eligible capital expenses.

The province has conditionally approved a tax credit of $7.6 million for DIW Buildings & Land Corporation.

Last year, Alberta made about 840 million litres of milk, which is almost 10 per cent of Canada’s total milk production. In the same year, the dairy-making industry employed more than 3,000 people.

The plant will create as many as 185 permanent and temporary jobs.

DIW is a collaboration between Alberta Milk, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, SaskMilk, and the BC Dairy Association.

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