PLANT

Aurora is building a huge cannabis greenhouse operation in Leduc

The 800,000 square-foot facility will have an annual capacity equivalent to almost 313 million joints.


Massive greenhouse features advanced automated cannabis production technology.

Massive greenhouse features advanced automated cannabis production technology.

VANCOUVER — Aurora Cannabis Inc. has started construction on an automated 800,000 square-foot production facility in Alberta that will be capable of producing 100,000 kilograms of cannabis annually.

Based on an average size of 0.32 grams, that’s about 313 million joints.

The greenhouse facility dubbed Aurora Sky, with a footprint equivalent to 16 football fields, sits on 30 acres of leased land in Leduc County.

The company, which currently operates a 55,200 square-foot facility in Mountain View County, has selected a closed-system, hybrid greenhouse concept for the expansion.

The Dutch design is modular, which will allow for a rapid construction process and a completion target of October 2017. Construction of the facility’s pre-engineered structure has been underway in the Netherlands since October.

The company said the facility also features the world’s first industrial scale plant tissue culture process specific to cannabis.

For those of you interested in how to grow pot with state-of-the-art tech, take note.

The facility uses forced air, bottom-fed positive pressure supplemented by sunlight through a specialized glass roof that optimizes micromole levels.

The anti-reflective and diffusion glass that reduces fan leaf shadows is placed in a four-sided rubber gasket system, minimizing heat and CO2 loss, while preventing escaping odour.

All the steel used in facility will be white powder-coated for maximum reflection and GMP compliant cleanliness and a separated condensation system will eliminate humidity issues.

Exterior walls optimize insulation and light penetration, with UV and mechanical filtration technology harvesting and re-using rainwater.

Climate control is electronic and automated. The heating and cooling systems will balance temperature, air flow and humidity to avoid vapour pressure deficits and the double, self-adjusting, wire-driven screens will maximize energy savings, provide plant protection and a 99.9% effective blackout. The latest lighting technology includes hybrid HPS and LED installations and a fully automated, mobile platform growing system ensures plants are in the best position for climate, irrigation, light and growth at all stages.

A flexible, component-based, multiple-stage water filtration, irrigation and nutrient delivery system features full recirculation and cultivar-specific feeding and systems are in place to track product from seed to sale.

And the work environment is safe thanks to cranes and conveyors deployed throughout the facility.

Aurora Cannabis is also looking at additional production and an expansion of its processing capabilities at its location near the Village of Cremona, in Mountain View County. The municipal council has approved a re-designation of Aurora’s property as a Direct Control District, allowing for possible expansion.

The company is a licensed producer of medical cannabis and trades on the TSX Venture Exchange.

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