Canfor Corporation announced today (May 20) it will be closing its Isle Pierre sawmill, which is located near Prince George. The company says closure will take effect in the third quarter of 2020 following an orderly wind-down of operations.
The closure is a result of an insufficient supply of economically viable timber following the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, coupled with the major global economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, the ongoing economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the urgent need for Canfor to make this difficult decision,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO in a news release.
“We know today’s announcement will have a significant impact on our employees, contractors, their families and the local communities, which we deeply regret. We will work hard to redeploy as many employees as possible to other opportunities throughout the company.”
Based on the current one-shift operation, Isle Pierre sawmill has an annual production capacity of approximately 120 million board feet.
Canfor Pulp Products Inc. is also announcing the curtailment of Prince George Pulp and Paper and Intercontinental Pulp for approximately four weeks starting July 6.
“We have made the difficult decision to temporarily curtail Prince George Pulp and Paper and Intercontinental Pulp due to the major global economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of economically viable fibre in the region,” says Kayne in a news release.
The curtailment will reduce Canfor Pulp’s production output by approximately 38,000 tonnes of market kraft pulp and 12,000 tonnes of kraft paper.
Canfor Pulp has three Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp mills, one Bleached Chemi-Thermo Mechanical Pulp (BCTMP) mill, and one kraft paper mill in BC.