Innovation Saskatchewan is committing $395,000 to Red Leaf Pulp through its Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund (SAIF) to develop novel wheat straw pulping technologies. In March 2021, Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada also announced that it was providing $495,000 toward this project through its Agricultural Clean Technology Fund. This funding was made possible through provincial support via SAIF.
Red Leaf Pulp (RLP) is leading a project to commercialize new technologies to produce pulp from wheat straw, which can be used to manufacture paper and packaging products. Wheat straw pulp also has the potential to be an environmentally friendly feedstock for paper and single-use consumer packaging, and an additional source of revenue for wheat growers.
“The Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund program is designed to accelerate commercialization of game-changing technological innovations in the province’s core sectors,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Jeremy Harrison said. “This is another example of Saskatchewan’s commitment to continue investing in ag innovation projects that have potential for high economic impact and we’re excited to see further development of this technology.”
In addition to paper and packaging products, RLP will also work with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan to identify and develop additional high-value applications. Once successfully commercializing the pulping technology, RLP will establish Canada’s first wheat straw pulp facility in Regina. The facility is estimated to be worth $350 million and is expected to create 110 permanent full-time jobs and 250 jobs during construction.
“Red Leaf Pulp is very appreciative of the support that Innovation Saskatchewan has shown through the SAIF program for the development of our project,” Red Leaf Pulp CEO Martin Pudlas said. “This is strong indication of the province’s commitment to reducing carbon and promoting enhanced utilization and efficiency in the agricultural sector.”
Innovation Saskatchewan’s investment in Red Leaf Pulp through SAIF will continue to position the province as global ag innovation leaders and add value to the province’s agricultural products – all important objectives in the Saskatchewan Growth Plan 2020-2030.