Aurora Cannabis Provides Construction Update on Aurora Sun

Published: April 11, 2019

Aurora Cannabis Provides Construction Update on Aurora Sun

Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced an update on the status of Aurora Sun, the Company’s latest and largest Sky Class facility, which is currently under construction in Medicine Hat, Alberta. To support rapidly growing global demand for high-quality medical cannabis in Canada and abroad, the facility will be expanded to 1.62 million square feet, representing a 33% increase from its originally planned 1.2 million square feet. With the Sky Class production philosophy proven at Aurora Sky, the Company is confident in projecting an expected production capacity at Aurora Sun in excess of 230,000 kg of high-quality cannabis per annum.

Aurora’s Sky Class facilities are the most technologically advanced in the world. They are not greenhouses, but purpose-built, indoor cannabis grow facilities that create the most optimal growing conditions for cannabis. A sophisticated glass roof, rainwater and snow melt recapture system, and a high-level of technology and automation give Aurora full control over all anticipated environmental and harvest conditions, resulting in the production of consistently high yielding, high-quality cannabis at low-cost.

“Aurora Sun represents the next evolution in our Sky Class facility design, delivering massive scale, low cost production, and consistent, high-quality cannabis,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. “Particularly in newly-opened markets, establishing first-mover position and embedding Aurora’s market share and brand requires a stable and reliable supply of high-quality cannabis for these markets. The increased scale of Aurora Sun reflects our expectations for the long-term growth in global demand, especially the higher margin international medical markets which will be faced with significant supply shortages for the foreseeable future. Sun is lso designed with flexibility in mind to enable us to quickly meet changing market demands, particularly as breeding and cultivation technologies evolve and as customer preferences and requirements change.”

Aurora Sun Facility Highlights:

  • 37 growing rooms, each at 32,500 square feet
  • At full operation, there will be more than 1,000,000 plants in various stages of growth in the facility at any given time
  • Increased automation through next generation robotic shuttles to mobilize benches, increasing operational speed and facility efficiency, while allowing for multiple product streams simultaneously
  • Expanded and upgraded facility automation systems for cloning and production, further lowering anticipated production costs
  • Next generation, low maintenance climate management system for superior plant health, yield and cannabinoid potency
  • Upgraded weather readiness design to drive even greater operating efficiencies
  • Additional energy efficiency/energy management via improved implementation of thermal screens
  • Improved GMP/GACP segregation between grow, harvest, and post-production to facilitate faster and most efficient work flow
  • Higher throughput post-harvesting systems, including drying systems, to reduce product time to market

Ground work at the facility is nearing completion, erection of the steel structure is advancing and installation of the glass at Sun is expected to be completed in May 2019. Like Aurora Sky, Health Canada licensing requests have determined that rooms will be available for planting before the entire facility is completed.

Evolved Design

Aurora Sun will be even more technologically advanced than Aurora Sky in a number of ways, including process and technological upgrades that are aimed to increase economic efficiencies and customer-driven flexibility to meet future evolutions in market requirements. While Aurora Sky integrates certain post harvest processing systems, Aurora Sun will be focused solely on the mass scale, hyper-efficient production of high-quality cannabis. Most post-harvest processing will be handled at other facilities, such as Aurora Polaris, the Company’s logistics and derivatives production hub at the Edmonton International Airport (see announcement February 12, 2019).