Phyto Organix unveiled their first architectural drawing of what the $225 million pea-processing facility will look like during yesterday's town council meeting.

The render presented is an early design/rendering, and as of last Thursday’s design meeting, several windows and access features have been added and will be reflected in the next rendering. Phyto Organix President Chris Theal is excited about the progress made on the project so far.

"It will be state of the art. We've gone through a lot of design and engineering on the building, and we are progressing this to be the first net-zero wet fractionation facility in North America. And it truly is setting the standard for ag. Invest Alberta has sort of put the stamp on our company as the standard in agriculture for ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance)."

Net-zero carbon emissions is a big focus for Theal, and he said Phyto applied for $10 million dollars under the Emissions Reduction Alberta Circular Economy Challenge, which is a government funded program to push green technology forward. If received, this grant would go towards greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, waste reduction, and water conservation.

Theal said if the company took a 'do nothing' approach, the facility would emit around 68,000 tons of GHG emissions a year. To mitigate this, the facility will do things like waste heat recapturing on the wet side of fractionation, dry air recirculation on the dry side, as well as automation efficiencies. Heat recovery will also be used from the residual stream that comes out of the plant, which will be used as biogas for third parties. Perhaps most importantly, the entire plant will be run on green solar energy!

While the progress made is exciting, Theal said they're only halfway done. Construction is scheduled to begin late this year or early next year.

"It's been 20 months to get here as a company, and it will be another 22 once that first shovel hits, and that will be a huge milestone. This is truly pioneering an industry in the province, and to be able to do it here in Strathmore, I think it's huge. And the collaboration with the town council, and the administration here, it's bringing it to reality."

Once completed, the facility should bring around 66 local jobs to Strathmore.

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