Cylab International says it is finalizing plans for the construction of a $32 million factory, where hemp fibre will be processed into various products, including construction materials, animal bedding and biofuel.
“It’s definitely going ahead,” Cylab chief executive officer Brett Boag told The Western Producer last month.
The new Alberta location is expected to be operational by 2015 and employ 70 people.
Cylab has operated a plant in China for eight years, where product is manufactured for the U.S. market. The company hopes to reduce transportation costs by relocating to Canada.
Canadian farmers planted a record 66,671 acres of hemp last year.
Alberta is one of the top hemp-producing provinces, and supports new biomaterials through organizations like Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures (AITF).
Another hemp processor, Stemia, is also looking to set up a new facility in southern Alberta. The site would manufacture products for the construction, automotive and paper industries.
Canada’s primary market for hemp, the U.S., recently approved hemp cultivation for research purposes in 10 states. However, commercial hemp cultivation remains banned.