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Press release from CNW Group

Legumex Walker Provides Update on Preparations for Start-Up of Pacific Coast Canola Facility

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Legumex Walker Provides Update on Preparations for Start-Up of Pacific Coast Canola Facility07:00 EDT Thursday, July 12, 2012- Construction Remains on Schedule / Strong Demand for Canola Oil Driving Record Seedings -WINNIPEG, July 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Legumex Walker Inc. (TSX: LWP), today provided an update on preparations for start-up of the Pacific Coast Canola (PCC) crushing facility.  Construction of the facility, the first commercial-scale canola crushing operation west of the Rocky Mountains, remains on schedule, with the facility expected to commence commercial operations in the first quarter of 2013."The commencement of canola processing at the PCC facility early next year will be a transformational milestone for our Company," said Joel Horn, president and chief executive officer, Legumex Walker Inc., which has an 85% ownership interest in PCC.  "The addition of the canola crushing operations will significantly increase the scale of our business, effectively doubling our existing capacity.  Moreover, the addition of canola oil and meal to our product offerings is expected to meaningfully expand our margins."Mr. Horn added, "Demand for canola oil in North America and internationally continues to exhibit strong growth.  As the first and only commercial-scale canola crushing operation west of the Rocky Mountains and with one of the most experienced teams in the industry, PCC is well positioned to capitalize on this significant opportunity."Strong Demand for Canola Oil Driving Record SeedingsDemand for canola oil in North America continues to exhibit strong growth as consumer preferences for healthier oils and government mandates banning trans fatty acids are driving food processors to seek alternatives to conventional vegetable oils.  Informa Economics estimates that U.S. canola oil consumption will increase 47 percent from 2010 to 2012 to 4.10 billion pounds from 2.78 billion pounds.North American growers are responding to this demand as evidenced by a record estimated canola planting acreage for the 2012/2013 growing season in both the U.S. and Canada.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported 2012/13 canola seeding estimates of 1.6 million acres, an increase of 52% over the previous season.  In Canada, StatsCan has reported canola seeding estimates of 21 million acres, an increase of 11% over the previous season.Importantly, 2012/13 planting acreage in the Western U.S. region (Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon), which is considered local sourcing for the PCC facility in Warden, Washington, increased more than 50% to approximately 100,000 acres from approximately 66,000 acres for the previous season."The increased level of canola seeding in the Western U.S. should enable us to source more feedstock for processing locally during our first year of operation than originally anticipated," said Mr. Horn.  "With the next nearest canola crushing facility about 500 miles to the northeast, the proximity of our facility in Washington State to both growers and customers, including the substantial food processing industry in the Pacific Northwest, is a key advantage for us."Construction Proceeding on PlanConstruction of the PCC facility has moved into its next phase - the installation of primary processing components and equipment.  Most of these components are on site, with the rest scheduled to be delivered over the next several weeks.  The deodorizer and vertical seed conditioner have been placed.  Placement of the meal cooker and expellers is expected to be performed before the end of July.  PCC will begin commissioning the facility during the fourth quarter of this year with the expectation of commencing commercial operations in the first quarter of 2013.About Pacific Coast Canola and the Pacific Coast Canola Crushing FacilityPacific Coast Canola is constructing its first canola crushing plant in Warden, WA.  With a nominal capacity 1,100 metric tonnes (MT) of canola per day, the Warden facility will produce expeller-pressed canola oil and high-quality canola meal.  The plant will be the first commercial-scale canola crushing operation west of the Rockies and is well-positioned to supply the expanding demand for canola products on the west coast of the United States.  Warden is in the heart of a multi-state region that is ideal for canola production and well-served by rail and surface transportation routes.  The plant has a design output capacity of 142,500 MT (approximately 314,000 pounds) of canola oil and 227,000 MT of canola meal per year.Pacific Coast Canola is 85 percent owned by Legumex Walker and 15 percent by Glencore Grain Investment LLC.About Legumex Walker Inc.Legumex Walker is a growth-oriented processor and merchandiser of pulses (lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas), other special crops and canola products. The Company is one of the largest processors of pulses and other special crops in Canada with 11 processing facilities strategically located in key growing regions in the Canadian Prairie Provinces, the American Midwest, and China, a global sales, logistics, and distribution platform and access to multimodal transportation capabilities. In addition the Company has an 85 percent interest in Pacific Coast Canola, LLC, a company that is constructing a canola oilseed processing facility in Washington State.This press release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities laws, which may include, but are not limited to statements relating to the construction, operation and staffing of the Company's majority-owned canola crushing facility, projected US canola oil consumption; and estimated canola planting acreage and seeding estimates. Such forward-looking information reflects the Company's views with respect to future events and is subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including timing and cost overrun risks associated with the construction of the PCC crushing facility; weather related risks; fluctuations in wholesale prices of crops; accuracy of information relating to estimated planting acreage and seeding estimates provided by third parties noted in this press release and those set out in the annual information form of Legumex Walker dated March 28, 2012 available on sedar.com. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, except as required bylaw.For further information: INVESTOR & MEDIA RELATIONS Marin Landis Manager of Investor Relations - Legumex Walker Inc. marinl@legumexwalker.com (206) 535-2427 Lawrence Chamberlain TMX Equicom lchamberlain@equicomgroup.com (416) 815-0700 ext. 257