RPT-UPDATE 1-Canada's Richardson International to double canola crush capacity at Saskatchewan plant

(Repeating to additional clients)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, March 22 (Reuters) - Richardson International plans to double its canola crushing capacity at Yorkton, Saskatchewan, to 2.2 million tonnes annually, making it Canada’s largest such plant, the company and provincial government said on Monday.

Canola production has grown rapidly in Western Canada, the world’s biggest producer of the yellow-flowering crop. Prices last month hit all-time highs, as global demand soared for oilseeds to make vegetable oil and animal feed.

Booming North American demand for renewable diesel, a clean-burning road fuel that refiners can produce from canola oil and other feedstocks, has added to interest in the crop.

Privately held Richardson intends to start construction immediately and finish the project in early 2024, the company said in a statement. The 11-year-old Yorkton plant is in the heart of Canada’s canola-growing belt, with access to both Canadian National Railway Co and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.

The company did not release a cost estimate. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; editing by Jonathan Oatis)