Roquette construction site still idle

Mickey Dumont

The Portage Citizen — Construction at the half-billion dollar Roquette site here remains stalled as the international plant-based food processor continues to fine tune its plans.

Roquette did inaugurate a new pea protein production unit at its Vic-sur-Aisne, France site less than two weeks ago and will likely focus its attention on its Portage la Prairie project.

Jim Bozikis, Roquette’s head of communications and public affairs – Americas, said two weeks ago, “We’re at a stage where we are fine tuning. This is a huge undertaking and if anything, we are measuring twice and cutting only once. We want to get this right.”

Today Bozikis said, “We’re still measuring. The plan is to increase our capacity for pea protein in Europe and the plant in Portage will increase our production capacity to address the growing demand here in North America.

“Things are still on target and we are still moving ahead. We are committed to our project in Portage. Roquette is being very methodical and precise, as it should with a plan of this scale and a project of this size.”

Production at the plant has been pushed ahead to “sometime in 2020” from an expected production launch of November 2019.

“Initially we planned on late 2019, but this is where fine tuning our plans take us.”

Roquette is not scaling back the scope of its Portage la Prairie operation, the size of the plant it is building here or the number of people it will employ.

“Roquette is committed to building this plant,” Bozikis said.

Pascal Leroy, vice-president of Roquette’s pea and new protein business line, commented in its press release announcing its Vic-sur-Aisne site production launch, “The pea protein market is a highly attractive sector, and its strong growth reflects consumers’ goal of taking care of their health while preserving the environment. To address this demand, Roquette will rely on this production facility in Europe (Vic-sur-Aisne, France) and an additional one in North America (Portage la Prairie, Canada), currently under construction. By 2020, both plants will have a combined pea processing capacity of close to 250,000 tons p.a.

About Roquette: “Offering the best of nature”

Roquette is a global leader in plant-based ingredients and a pioneer of new vegetal proteins.

In collaboration with its customers and partners, the Group addresses current and future societal challenges by unlocking the potential of Nature to offer the best ingredients for Food, Nutrition and Health markets. Each of these ingredients responds to unique and essential needs, and they enable healthier lifestyles. Thanks to a constant drive for innovation and a long-term vision, the Group is committed to improving the well being of millions of people all over the world while taking care of resources and territories. Roquette currently operates in over 100 countries, has a turnover of around 3.2 billion euros and employs 8,300 people worldwide.

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