A new farmer-owned grain handling and commodity transportation hub for southeast Saskatchewan will be discussed at a series of meetings in coming weeks.
The concept is called Comtrax Logistics Solutions.
A news release said it would would load crops, crude oil, aggregate and other commodities from a track system located along Canadian Pacific Railway’s Soo Line. The Weyburn area is the most likely location.
Comtrax plans a 260-plus car track system with a loop track. It would be served by a grain, oilseed and pulse handling facility with storage capacity of about 60,000 tonnes.
One half of the space or more would be sold as condo units to commercial grain traders, handlers or end users.
It would operate as a fee for service public house, the release said.
The set up would also allow for products such as fertilizer to be unloaded.
Total project cost is estimated at $50 to $75 million depending on track size and how the stages of construction are pursued, the news release said.
In addition to farmer investment, the plan is to raise a significant portion of the funds through commercial partnerships.
Mark Bratrud, one of a group of farmers working on the plan for the past two years said farmer ownership of grain handling has declined with the sale of locally owned inland terminals.
“It’s time for producers to have a voice and for farmers to have some influence again in this modern and ever changing industry. Potential commercial partners will be watching the level of interest shown by farmers,” Bratrud said in a news release.
The first farmer meeting will be held Dec. 8 at the Executive Hotel and Resorts in Regina at 9 am.
Other meetings are planned for Ogema,Weyburn, Carlyle, Radvill, Estevan, Oungre, Montmartre, Milestock, Corning and Sedley.