BOWDEN — Mayor Robb Stuart is confident that More Than Protein, the pea-processing company that broke ground in the community last fall, is here to stay.
Stuart said during Bowden council meeting last month, Red Deer County assistant chief administrative officer Dave Dittrick briefed councillors on the progress the company has made jumping through planning hoops.
“They’re moving ahead and they think they’re doing it within the timeframe and they’re working on their environmental assessment and they’re working on their permitting. It sounded good,” Stuart said. “They stripped a bunch of dirt and they’ve got permits processing.”
Ground was broken Oct. 7 for the nearly $100 million, value-added agriculture processor to be located in the southwest end of Bowden, across the railway tracks at 2012 19 Avenue.
Kevin McGeough, the company’s chief executive officer, told The Albertan it expects to create about 120 jobs directly and indirectly in Bowden during construction and 50 to 60 full-time jobs once production begins in the fall of 2023.
At the time of the sod-turning, McGeough said the group had obtained about half the financing it needs to get the plant built and running and was about to embark on raising the remaining financing needed.
He said investors and industry partners have been attracted from as far away as Denmark.
Stuart said council is hopeful More Than Protein will “take flight” next spring.
He said there seems to be an effect on the town’s economy already.
“There’s lots of houses for sale in town and they seem to be selling some of them. Real estate’s going up,” Stuart said.