The straw-based MDF plant is one of the first of its kind in North America and will be built in Central Alberta. (Photo courtesy of Great Plains MDF)

The straw-based MDF plant is one of the first of its kind in North America and will be built in Central Alberta. (Photo courtesy of Great Plains MDF)

Central Alberta to be home of North America’s first straw-based MDF Plant

Great Plains MDF has picked Kneehill County as the home of its first North American straw-based MDF plant.

The site is in Equity, between Three Hills and Trochu, and the three-quarter sections of land will be home to the proposed facility, as well as the storage of wheat straw. A release states it will bring hundreds of jobs to the local economy and will be the largest such facility in the world.

“This is a very exciting step forward for our project, our team, and of course central Alberta. said Brian McLeod, the President of Great Plains Innovations. “This announcement demonstrates our commitment to local farmers and allows us to move forward with the permitting process.”

As part of the purchase agreement, Great Plains has committed to allowing both families to plant, farm and harvest their land for one last season.

“Anytime we can get employment opportunities in central Alberta is just great. The community is poised for growth. The economic impact for our communities in Kneehill County will be so exciting.” said Barry Kletke, Mayor, Town of Trochu.

According to a press release, the company has spent years researching and developing a process to make high-quality medium-density fibreboard (MDF) out of agrifibres. Great Plains Innovations intends to build a series of similar facilities across the Canadian prairies and elsewhere over the next ten years.