Business Bulletins News

IW Business Bulletin – June 24, 2022

Nancy Tout. Photo provided by Global Institute for Food Security.

New chief scientific officer at Global Institute for Food Security

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) announced June 21 that Dr. Nancy Tout will become the Saskatoon-based organization’s first chief scientific officer.Tout will lead GIFS’ research and development leadership team.

Tout joins GIFS from Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) in Alberta. Before her role at RDAR, she worked for Syngenta Canada for over 21 years, leading a research and development team of over 60 scientists across Canada working in agricultural innovation.

“We are thrilled to have Nancy join our team at GIFS, bringing her extensive leadership experience and wealth of research and development knowledge to help us advance our corporate strategy,” said GIFS CEO, Dr. Steven Webb. “Her knowledge of the Canadian research environment, vast network and expertise with building partnerships will be a valuable asset to GIFS, as well as to Saskatchewan and Canada’s agriculture and food ecosystem.”

Tout holds a Bachelor of Biology (Honours) degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Guelph in 1997.

“I am excited at the opportunity to join GIFS and to work with a team of people dedicated to innovation and to delivering sustainable food security using Saskatchewan and Canada’s strengths,” said Tout. “The institute’s continued growth and focus on being a catalyst and connector in the agri-food ecosystem aligns with my commitment to collaboration and to working through partnerships to tackle the challenges of feeding a growing world.”

Tout officially joins GIFS on July 18, 2022.

Gensource Potash increasing capacity at Tugaske Project

Gensource Potash announced June 21 that it will increase capacity at its Tugaske potash project with help from its strategic investor and offtake partner, HELM AG and its subsidiary HELM Fertilizers. Due rising prices and limited supplies, Gensource and HELM plan to double the production capacity at the Tugaske Project from 250,000 to 500,000 tonnes per year. As well, HELM has committed to guarantee a $12,500,000 contingency account for the Tugaske Project, required by the bank syndicate of KfW IPEX-Bank and Société Générale in connection with the Company’s anticipated and previously announced debt financing. According to Gensource, the two banks “remain fully supportive of the Project.”

“These strategic commitments by HELM are a reflection of the strength and availability of Gensource’s modular technology to help meet immediate market needs and of the strong demand for potash” said Gensource CEO Mike Ferguson. “The need for innovative solutions to bring new production to market is imperative, and with HELM’s continuing support, we are one step closer to bringing the Tugaske Project into production. Providing incremental supply to the market is part of the solution to the current market imbalances. We are delighted that HELM has increased its commitment to the project and look forward to next steps.”

Stantec awarded engineering contract for Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant renewal project

Stantec announced June 23 that the company has been awarded the engineering during construction, and commissioning portions of the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant Renewal Project (BPWTP) in Saskatchewan.

The contract comes as part of the Graham-Aecon Joint Venture. Stantec, along with Graham, Aecon, and Associated Engineering (AE), led the engineering design of the $273 million upgrade to the BPWTP.

Construction of the project is proceeding, and will upgrade the water treatment plant for the cities of Moose Jaw and Regina, and users of SaskWater and Buffalo Pound Provincial Park.

Stantec will be involved in construction inspections as well as start-up and commissioning activities.

“We’re incredibly proud of our design team and partners for their work on this project,” says Gillian Edwards, Stantec’s design manager for the BPWTP project. “This is a live operating plant that can’t experience long shutdown periods. Our design team has been working closely with our construction partners and the BPWTP Corporation to sequence construction and commissioning activities. This way we can ensure physical upgrades are completed with minimal impact to current water production.”

The project is expected to finish in 2025.

SREDA appoints CERO

The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) has named Milton Tootoosis as the organization’s chief economic reconciliation officer (CERO). Tootoosis has been promoted into the role from his current position as SREDA’s director of Indigenous economic development since he joined SREDA in September 2021.

World’s first flax straw processing plant coming to Regina

This week Prairie Clean Energy announced that it will open a new flax straw biomass fuel processing facility in Regina – the world’s first.

The facility will be located in Regina’s northeast by McDonald Street and First Avenue East with plans to open by the end of 2022. Prairie Clean Energy says the project will  employ 24 people and produce 60,000 tonnes of pellets per year.

Prairie Clean Energy offers three biomass fuel product lines (wood, flax straw, and ag residue) to customers in Canada and around the world.

More money for Saskatchewan Research Council rare earth facility

The Government of Saskatchewan announced it will provide another $20 million in funding for the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) Rare Earth Processing facility.

The funding will expand the facility’s capabilities and add a metals unit to produce rare earth metals, an ingredient in the manufacture of permanent magnets. The funding will also address increased costs for the project due to global supply chain issues.

“The SRC Rare Earth Processing Facility delivers on a key element of the 2030 Growth Plan, with the planned expansion into metals production exceeding our original objective,” Minister Responsible for SRC Jeremy Harrison said. “Our government is proud to provide our continued support to a facility that is enhancing domestic production to reduce reliance on foreign imports and supporting economic growth in this burgeoning sector.”

The facility will be the first-of-its-kind in North America and will be producing REE products for sale on the international markets in 2024.

Get the week’s top business stories every Friday free with the IW Business Bulletin.

Have a story for the IW Business Bulletin? Email us at