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Glanbia to rebuild burned Manitoba flaxseed plant in South Dakota

A flaxseed plant that burned to the ground in Angusville last March will not be rebuilt within the Manitoba community, says the company owners.

On Tuesday morning, Glanbia Nutritionals Ingredient Technologies announced that it will build a 40,000 square foot cereal ingredient processing facility in Sioux Falls, SD. The facility, which is expected to begin operations in July 2013, will replace the company's Angusville plant that was destroyed by fire on March 13 of this year. 

The company says it will offer relocation packages to all Angusville employees.

"After careful consideration of all options, including the possibility of rebuilding in Manitoba, it became apparent that locating our cereal ingredient facility in Sioux Falls was the best decision for our customers, suppliers and company," Glanbia president and GEO Jerry O'Dea said in a press release.

"After years in Angusville, this was a very difficult decision, given our longstanding relationship with the community. We spoke to our employees today and will look to retain as many as we can through an offer of relocation to Sioux Falls. For those unable to relocate, severance packages will be offered."

The Sioux Falls facility will produce whole and milled flaxseed ingredients as well as other seed and grain products for the food, beverage, supplement and animal nutrition industries.  Glanbia Nutritionals will continue to source flaxseed from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern U.S. states as before.

Glanbia Nutritionals entered the flax business when it purchased the former Pizzey’s Milling in Angusville in September, 2007.  Since then, the company expanded flax operations to include the development of several high quality ingredients to deliver nutrition like ALA-Omega 3, protein, fiber and antioxidants in goods produced by food, beverage and supplement manufacturers.  

The fire that claimed the Angusville plant was the result of flax meal overheating in a pasteurizing unit. It caused an estimated $7 million in damages with the heaviest damage in the warehouse and processing area of the plant.

Located in the RM of Silver Creak, which has a population between 400 and 500 people, the plant was a major economic driver, supplying good paying jobs in the area. 

The municipality's reeve, Fred Dunn, told the Sun during an interview last Augut that it would be "a huge blow" to the local economy if the company chose not to rebuild in the region.

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