On June 1, 2021, Red Leaf Pulp Ltd. announced that Regina will be the home of its new $350 million proprietary wheat straw-based pulp mill. The new facility’s exact location will be announced at a later date, but the Red Leaf Pulp has secured properties on Regina’s west side and construction will begin in early 2022. The project will be Canada’s first non-wood pulp mill.
The plant will have the capacity to produce 182,000 tonnes of market pulp annually from locally-sourced waste wheat straw, and is expected to create 110 permanent full-time jobs with 250 additional jobs created during construction of the plant. The project has been in planning for more than two years according to a company spokesperson, and multiple jurisdictions were considered before selecting Regina as the facility’s new home. Red Leaf Pulp selected Regina for their first facility of this kind because of its access to feedstock supply, infrastructure, utilities, access to rain and transportation, and overall population.
“Red Leaf is delighted to be locating in Regina and we look forward to working with the community, local businesses and the region’s growers. Our project provides an opportunity to enhance the utilization of existing resources and diversify revenue sources in the ag-industry while creating a lower carbon future.” said Martin Pudlas, CEO of Red Leaf Pulp, on June 1. “We want to thank communities across Saskatchewan for their support, interest and assistance during the location evaluation process. Ultimately Regina’s proximity to major infrastructure and a significant workforce were key considerations in our choice for the initial plant site.”
The company has also seen government support, receiving $395,000 from the province’s Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund, and $495,000 from the federal Agricultural Clean Energy Fund. As well, Economic Development Regina assisted the company with site selection and supported Red Leaf Pulp’s efforts to secure provincial and federal funding for the project.
“I am very pleased Red Leaf has chosen to locate Canada’s first non-wood pulp mill in Regina. This facility allows our City continued diversified growth in the urban-agricultural economy”, said Mayor Sandra Masters. “It will highlight innovation in one of our core industries, maximize crop value in an environmentally sustainable way and provide valuable jobs in the low carbon energy sector. This is exciting news for Regina and our Province.”
“More than ever, Regina is becoming the epicentre of a sustainable, value-added agriculture economy,” said John Lee, CEO of Economic Development Regina. “We’re proud to have worked closely with Red Leaf throughout this process and we are excited to welcome them to the region. Red Leaf’s announcement means new jobs for Regina citizens and new opportunities for Regina businesses.”