Florenceville-Bristol french fry plant, New Brunswick, Canada

McCain Foods (Canada), a producer of French fries and other potato products, announced the expansion of its existing Florenceville-Bristol French fry plant in New Brunswick, in June 2016.

The estimated investment for the expansion is $65m, the biggest investment made by the company in any Canadian plant in eight years.

The expansion is expected to create between 40 and 50 jobs, and will allow McCain Foods to better serve its retail and foodservice customers in North America, as well as for export markets.

Detail of the expansion

The new production line covering 32,000ft² is aimed produce hash brown potato patties and other speciality potato products using new manufacturing equipment and technology.

McCain Foods aims to procure approximately 4,000 acres of locally grown potatoes for the new line. The production is expected to commence between the end of 2017 and early-2018.

Details of McCain Foods’ existing Florenceville-Bristol plant

McCain Foods first opened a frozen French fry plant in Florenceville, New Brunswick, in February 1957 with a workforce of 30 people.

In June 2006, the company began expansion and upgrades at the Florenceville plant with an investment of C$70m (approximately $62.8m) to provide greater efficiency using new equipment and technologies.

The old facility was replaced by the refurbished and expanded potato processing plant, which is the current Florenceville-Bristol French fry plant, in July 2008. The official opening ceremony took place in September 2008.

The existing facility has two industrial boilers, a Foster Wheeler boiler and a Volcano Watertube Packaged boiler. It also houses a variety of ancillary equipment including mixers, peelers, cookers, ovens, fryers, packaging equipment and freezer tunnels.

Its production capacity is 33,000lb of French fries an hour. In addition, the plant is capable of producing 12,240 pizza pockets an hour and roughly 4,600 cakes an hour.

Processing

At the Florenceville frozen French fry facility, raw potatoes are sorted and steam-peeled in pressure vessels, before being cut into suitably sized strips. Once cut, the strips are blanched, dried and sent to the freezer following the frying process.

"McCain Foods aims to procure approximately 4,000 acres of locally grown potatoes for the new line."

The frozen fries are then packed and stored in cold storage warehouse, and finally shipped to the market.

Environmental impact and sustainability

McCain Foods will operate the plant, classified as a Class 1B plant, in accordance with the Air Quality Regulation 97-133. The air quality approval has been renewed by the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government on 1 March 2016.

The air quality impacts of the Florenceville-Bristol facility include noise, odour emissions and combustion gas emissions such as SO2, NOX and particulate matter.

The boilers burn a combination of No. 2 fuel oil, natural gas and biogas, which is produced from the plant’s anaerobic digester by converting potato waste. The stacks serving two boilers produce flue gas.

The Florenceville-Bristol plant also consumes less energy and water, says McCain.