Business Bulletins News

IW Business Bulletin – June 25, 2021

SaskTel Adding Investment to Rural Broadband Infrastructure

SaskTel will increase its investment into its Rural Fibre Initiative by $50 million, bringing the total to $100 million. The investment will bring fibre optic broadband to another 24 rural communities across the province than previously planned.

The Rural Fibre Initiative was announced in December 2020 as a multi-phase program to bring SaskTel’s InfiniNET broadband internet to more than 40 communities by the end of 2023. Centres involved in the program include Balgonie, Biggar, Langham, Pilot Butte, Kindersley, Meadow Lake, Rosetown, Canora, Carlyle, Esterhazy, Fort Qu’Appelle, Hudson Bay, Indian Head, Kamsack, La Ronge, Lumsden, Maple Creek, Moosomin, Shaunavon, Watrous and Wynyard.

“As Saskatchewan’s homegrown communications leader, we continue to heavily invest in our networks so that we can connect our customers to the cutting-edge technologies they need to compete and succeed in the modern world,” SaskTel President and CEO Doug Burnett said.  “Whether it’s streaming 4K video content, playing the latest online game, or simply enjoying a video call with family and friends, infiNET service will ensure our customers will be able to connect to their world in real-time.”

WestJet Restoring Flights, Adding Routes in Saskatchewan

WestJet is restarting and adding routes in July, offering non-stop service from Saskatoon to seven cities, and five from Regina. Routes will be restarted by July 6, and include flights to Edmonton and Kelowna from Regina, and Edmonton, Kelowna, and Victoria from Saskatoon.

“We have spent time listening to our valued government, airport, tourism and related industry partners in Saskatchewan as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Moe and his government for prioritizing travel in their restart plan. While progress has been made in Saskatchewan, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

Nutrien Increases Production Again

Nutrien announced June 12, 2021 that the company will increase potash production by another 500,000 tonnes in an effort to respond to global market conditions. This announcement follows previous news from earlier in the month, where Nutrien announced it was increased production by 500,000 tonnes. Total production will increase by 1,000,000 tonnes from what was anticipated at the beginning of 2020.

“Our world-class, low-cost, integrated network of six mines gives us the flexibility and agility to respond to changing conditions which helps service our customers while doing so when potash prices are at the strongest levels we’ve seen in nearly a decade,” said Ken Seitz, Executive Vice President and CEO, Potash. “As the world’s largest soft rock miner and potash producer, we have the people, the experience and an extensive transportation and logistics system extensive supply chain to safely produce and supply the potash the world needs.”

Seitz also commented this week about the rumoured potential partership with BHP on BHP’s Jansen project. According to Reuters, Seitz said that as of now, partnership “speculative and inaccurate.”

DEEP Earth Energy Completes Feasibility Study

DEEP Earth Energy (DEEP) announced June 21 that the company has successfully completed the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) with a corresponding Feasibility study and report on its first geothermal power facility in the province’s southeast. The facility’s nominal output is expected to be 32 MW and will produce up to 33.4 Megawatts (MW) net power during the winter and a minimum of 20 MW net power during summer – a first in Canada.

The facility will feature 10 horizontal production wells and eight horizontal injection wells drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 3,500 metres. The company predicts the project will require 250,000 person hours for drilling and completions, and another 130,000 person hours for construction.

“We are taking the “best of both industries” by merging highly skilled oil and gas expertise with specialized geothermal reservoir and power generation expertise,” said Kirsten Marcia, DEEP President & CEO.

SREDA and Ag-West Bio Announce Agtech program

SREDA and Ag-West Bio have partnered on a new program, VOYAGE, offering funding for travel to Saskatchewan and discounted membership in the Global Agri-food Advancement Partnership (GAAP) incubator to showcase Saskatoon and Saskatchewan to international markets. GAAP is a three-month incubator program to assist Agtech startups with research, networking, training and investment. GAAP is an Ag-West Bio partnership with the Global Institute for Food Security, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre and Innovation Place.

“Ag-West Bio and GAAP are very pleased to partner with SREDA on VOYAGE. Partnerships like this will allow Saskatchewan to reach it’s full potential as an agri-value leader,” said Karen Churchill, President and CEO of Ag-West Bio.

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Connect the Dots: Internet Infrastructure in Saskatchewan