News Release - May 12, 1999
AGRI-FOOD EQUITY FUND INVESTS IN BIG QUILL RESOURCES INC.
Premier Roy Romanow and Agriculture and Food Minister Eric Upshall
today announced the Agri-Food Equity Fund (AFEF) has invested $1
million to assist in the expansion of Big Quill Resources Inc., a
potassium sulphate producer located near Wynyard.
The announcement was made at the official opening of a major expansion
of Big Quill's plant. The plant has a workforce of nearly 50,
including an additional eight required due to the expansion. It also
provides an additional 30 jobs indirectly through the goods and
services it purchases locally.
The Premier said Big Quill is a success story that is a model of how
successful enterprises in the hands of local investors and
entrepreneurs can be conceived, initiated and developed into
successful maturity. "The people of this community saw an opportunity
and you were willing to work to make that dream come true," Romanow
said. "You have built this business the Saskatchewan way with
enterprise, courage and optimism. And by working together.
The expansion is the fourth since a group of employees purchased the
facility from the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan in 1991 and
established Big Quill Resources Inc. The addition opened today brings
Big Quill's annual capacity to 50,000 tonnes a year, compared with the
initial capacity of 7,000 tonnes a year in 1991.
The company expects further expansions will bring its capacity to
200,000 tonnes a year within five years. That would make Big
Quill one of the largest producers of potassium sulphate in the
world. It is already the largest in Canada and the second
largest in North America.
Big Quill's product is marketed throughout North America and
overseas for use in gypsum wallboard, as fertilizer and as a
chemical feedstock. A byproduct of the manufacturing process is
high-grade salt that will be sold as a water softener grade
The Agri-Food Equity Fund in syndication with CUCORP Financial
Services, the commercial lending arm of Credit Union Central,
have financed the expansion of Big Quill Resources. "The fact
that AFEF and CUCORP were able to work together to develop a
made-in-Saskatchewan financial package for Big Quill illustrates
how AFEF can work to create economic development," Upshall said.
Upshall said that AFEF's involvement is an investment not a grant
or loan and that a return is expected from the investment. AFEF
assists innovative small to medium-sized companies that add value
to Saskatchewan agriculture. Since it was established in 1994,
AFEF has made 24 investments totaling $13 million in 19
companies. Of the companies invested in by AFEF, 14 are located
in rural Saskatchewan.
"We think that is an extremely important factor because it
indicates the program is helping rural communities to grow and
prosper," Upshall said.
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For more information, contact:
Agri-Food Equity Fund
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
Phone: (306) 787-0838