October 9, 2015 - CFI checks out the latest innovations and technolgoies in forestry mulchers. Rayco (1-MAIN)The C260 is a mid-sized mulcher that delivers 260 hp in a compact, low ground pressure package. This mulcher is suited for clearing small trees, underbrush, and a variety of unwanted vegetation across a wide range of environments. The heavy-duty steel undercarriage and powerful final drives allow operators to tackle difficult terrain with confidence. Rayco’s exclusive elevated cooling design keeps engine and hydraulic temperatures within their limits in the harshest of environments.
October 9, 2015 - Join Matt Kurowski as he discusses FPInnovations’ recent research efforts related to resource road safety inspection service, which collects data using vehicle-mounted systems, and then performs various analyses to identify safety concerns. This presentation on FPInnovation’s research in completing road safety inspections (RSIs) using mobile mapping systems (MMSs) will review: How FPInnovations got started researching this field in 2007; The different technologies that are part of MMSs, such as GPS, inertial measurement unit, and LiDAR scanners; How they have used collected data to produce road safety inspection reports; Trends in safety issues they have found in completing over 1000 km of RSIs; and FPInnovation’s recent research about reducing the costs associated with MMS. And all this for only $25! To register, click here. Date: October 21, 2015 Time: 2:00 p.m., EST
October 9, 2015 - The extreme cold conditions of winter present special challenges to loggers and their equipment. Following certain maintenance steps and operating procedures in severe cold temperatures will go a long way to help protect your equipment and keep it running productively.Winter can be the busiest season for some loggers. Frozen ground enables them to get into some areas with equipment they might not be able to reach in warmer temperatures, allowing them to significant amounts of wood. Maintenance takes on even greater importance for cold weather operations because the harsh temperatures and conditions make everything more difficult. At a time when loggers are at their busiest, winter can make it tougher to get parts, access a remote machine and perform repairs.As the weather begins to turn colder, it is time to get your equipment ready to run smoothly in the winter months. The following are a few suggestions for proper operating and maintenance procedures:Prepare your machine for winter. If a pump is approaching the end of its life, for example, consider changing it out before harsh weather. Find the right lubricant. Because the number of acceptable lubricants is limited in arctic conditions, manufacturers may have special recommendations. Ask your equipment dealer to recommend the best-suited oil for the conditions, and use a dealer-recommended oil that meets or exceeds recommendations.Use diesel fuel formulated for cold weather. Again, check with the equipment dealer about the type of fuel recommended for the climate conditions. Also, make sure engine coolant is adequate for the coldest possible expected temperatures.Use the correct hydraulic oil for the expected temperature range. Depending on your location, temperatures may soar to hot levels in the summer and fall considerably below freezing in winter; no one hydraulic oil is good for such a wide temperature range. If the oil is too thick, in cold conditions it will take a long time for it to warm up enough to run. In addition, operating machines at low ambient temperatures with hydraulic oil recommended for warmer temperatures runs the risk of pump cavitation (the oil is not delivered fast enough to the pump, and compressed air bubbles cause tiny implosions that eat away metal components of the pump).Warm it up. One of the single most important operating procedures is allowing enough warm-up time for the machine when temperatures are extremely cold. However, there is no benchmark rule for how long the engine should idle to warm up. In addition to allowing the engine and oils to warm up sufficiently, the equipment should be operated slowly at first.Pre-heaters can warm up the engine block, and they can also warm and circulate the engine coolant. However, they do not necessarily work well for hydraulic oil because the volume of hydraulic oil is so much greater. It takes considerable time to warm up hydraulic oil. In addition, warming hydraulic oil in the tank does not warm hydraulic oil in boom pistons and elsewhere. For these reasons, use a slow, steady operation to cycle the hydraulic oil and allow it to begin mixing with the warmed oil. Avoid high production operation until the hydraulic oil is about 60°F.At the end of the shift, clean the tracks properly. Clean any build-up around the track rollers, track slides, and the tracks; removing mud, snow, slush and ice will prevent the material from freezing overnight. Also, grease the machine while the components are still warm; joints will take grease better because they’ve been moving. (The grease gun can be kept in the operator’s cab while working to keep the grease warm). Wayne Ocker is a service tech rep with Caterpillar Forest Products.
October 5, 2015 – Members of the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) planted 65 million tree seedlings in forests throughout the province in 2015. The industry also planted 65 million trees in 2014. This means that each year 16 trees were planted for every man, woman, and child in Alberta. The industry replants an average of two trees for every one that is harvested. “We are very proud of our legacy of environmental stewardship,” said AFPA president and CEO Paul Whittaker. “Planting trees is an important part of ensuring that our forests are healthy and continue to support a variety of ecological, recreational, and economic values for generations to come.” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier emphasized the importance of forestry standards and reforestation with the view of keeping the industry strong. “Forestry is one of the most sustainable industries in Alberta,” he said. “Our government is committed to working closely with forestry producers to ensure the health of our forests and to support the industry’s mortgage-paying jobs now and for generations to come.”Planting trees benefits Alberta’s environment in the long-term and also has a positive, immediate impact on Alberta’s economy. Tree planters, typically youth and post-secondary students, worked 32,500 person days on replanting operations. Spin-off jobs created by tree planting include tree nursery employees and local businesses that supply goods and services to planting operations. More information can be found on our website at albertaforestproducts.ca. About AFPA The Alberta Forest Products Association is a private, non-profit industry organization, representing lumber, panelboard, pulp and paper, and secondary manufacturing wood products companies operating in Alberta. AFPA member companies are active participants in sustainability advancements that contribute economic, environmental, and social benefits for Albertans.
October 5, 2015 - Deere & Company has been notified by the UAW that its members have ratified a new six-year master labor agreement with Deere. Deere and the UAW had reached a tentative agreement October 1 that required a ratification vote by UAW members at John Deere facilities. Terms of the agreement will not be made public. The UAW represents approximately 10,000 Deere manufacturing employees at 12 factories in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. The master agreement covers manufacturing employees at John Deere facilities in Davenport, Ankeny, Dubuque, Ottumwa and Waterloo, Iowa; East Moline, Moline and Milan, Illinois; and Coffeyville, Kansas. Source: Deere & Company
September 30, 2015 – Sennebogen will expand its Plant II facility in southern Germany, by approximately 350,000 sq. ft. (35,000 m²). The project will also include a new 67,000 sq. ft. (6,700 m2) assembly and paint facility. The Plant II factory site is located nearby the Sennebogen head office and Plant I complex at the port of Straubing.
September 28, 2015 – Municipal officials and industry stakeholders are working together to investigate the possibility of establishing a forestry training centre in Timmins, Ont.
September 24, 2015 - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) have announced that LTN Contracting Ltd., the largest timber harvesting contractor in the Prince George area of British Columbia, has won this year's FPAC-CCAB Aboriginal Business Leadership Award. The company, represented by Troy Young, was honoured today in Vancouver at a reception before the CCAB 13th Annual Vancouver Gala.LTN is a joint venture between the Lheildi T'enneh Band and Roga Contracting Ltd. that endeavours to hire Aboriginal workers. The company has increased its annual logging contract volume ten-fold over the past 15 years and has become a significant contributor to the economic stability of the band.The $5,000 award celebrates Aboriginal entrepreneurs for their success in a forest products business that exemplifies business leadership, exceptional environmental and safety performance and the delivery of high-quality products and services. The award recipient must also demonstrate a long-term commitment to the Aboriginal community and Aboriginal employment. "FPAC is pleased that LTN is being recognized for its outstanding business leadership and its contribution to the Lheildi T'enneh Band", says David Lindsay, the President and CEO of FPAC. "For example, LTN has helped support about 60 band members get training and schooling through an Education Fund. This type of initiative will help the forest sector hire more workers from Aboriginal communities."The forest products industry is one of the largest employers of Aboriginal workers in Canada. Under Vision2020, the forest sector is aiming to refresh its workforce with an additional 60,000 employees by the end of the decade with a particular focus on Aboriginal engagement through employment and business development."CCAB takes great pride in celebrating companies like LTN Contracting Ltd," says the president and CEO of CCAB, J.P. Gladu. "Their longevity, capacity for significant growth, and active community support, through their commitment to Aboriginal employment, demonstrate how Canada's Aboriginal peoples continue to make a lasting contribution to the health and prosperity of all Canadians.""LTN has been good for us all" says Troy Young, GM and director of LTN. "The partnership between Lheidli T'enneh and Roga has built trust between the band and industry. LTN has developed band infrastructure in forestry, teaching, law and other areas through our combined efforts. This relationship has helped guide us forward, with important lessons being provided to all parties involved."This is the sixth time that the Aboriginal Business Leadership Award has been presented. Two Skills Awards for Aboriginal Youth will be awarded by FPAC later this year.About FPACFPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.Source: Forest Products Association of Canada
September 22, 2015 – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) and its partners across North America set a new Guinness World Records title, planting 202,935 trees in one hour. SFI partnered with 29 teams of 25 to 100 people each to plant trees in locations from New York City to Vancouver Island, B.C. “As SFI celebrates its 20th anniversary, I can’t think of a more exciting way to recognize and reinforce our commitment to healthy forests and sustainable communities, and to reaffirm that the actions we take today can have a significant and material impact on the future of our forests,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI.Organized by SFI, the effort involved 1,165 volunteers from all ages and backgrounds, including the forest sector, community organizations, youth groups, conservation groups and SFI implementation committees. They planted trees between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. EDT on May 20, 2015. Watch a video capturing highlights of the record. When mature, these trees will provide clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and help improve the quality of life for many. Teams that participated in the world record-breaking initiative included American Forests, Atco Wood Products, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks' TreeBaltimore, City of Sumner, Washington, Coopérative Forestière des Hautes-Laurentides, Domtar, Fornebu Lumber Company, Interfor, Island Timberlands, J.D. Irving Limited, Massey-Vanier High School, Norbord Barwick (in conjunction with local schools), Norbord (Groupement forestier cooperatif Abitibi, Sylviculture La Vérendrye, Forêt d'enseignement et de recherche Harricana), New York Restoration Project, Parks & People Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee, ReEnergy Holdings, Resolute Forest Products (the Haveman Team — Dog River Matawin Forest, the Outland Team – Black Spruce Forest, the Brinkman Team – Crossroute Forest), Minnesota SFI Implementation Committee, St. Louis County's Land & Minerals Department, the Sugar Pine Foundation, TD Bank, Forests Ontario (with partners Michael's Hair Body Mind and Credit Valley Conservation), UPM Blandin, and Williams Lake Plywood — West Fraser. Learn more about SFI, the Guinness World Records achievement and other community initiatives at sfiprogram.org. About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. SFI Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized SFI program. SFI works collaboratively with conservation groups, local communities, youth, resource professionals, landowners and countless other organizations and individuals who share our passion for and commitment to healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities. Since 2010, SFI has awarded more than 60 Conservation and Community Partnership grants totaling more than $1.9 million to foster education, research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $7.1 million. Across the United States and Canada, more than 250 million acres (100 million hectares) are certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard. In addition, sustainable forestry is promoted through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard and the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. SFI on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at www.sfiprogram.org and www.sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI.
September 17, 2015 - The world's forests must be recognized as "more than trees,” the XIV World Forestry Congress meeting in Durban, South Africa, concluded. Instead, forests hold vast potential to play a decisive role in ending hunger, improving livelihoods and combating climate change. The largest gathering on forests this decade set out its vision of how forests and forestry should look in 2050, adopting the Durban Declaration after a week of debate. The vision calls for the forests of the future to be "fundamental" for food security and improved livelihoods. Forests and trees must also be integrated with other land uses such as agriculture in order to address the causes of deforestation and conflict over land, according to the declaration. Finally, sustainably managed forests must be an "essential solution" to combating climate change, optimizing their ability to absorb and store carbon while also providing other environmental services. "The declaration reflects the extremely rich and diverse set of viewpoints and experiences of all participants in the Congress, who recommended ways to make the vision a reality," said Tiina Vähänen, deputy director of FAO's Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division. The declaration outlines a series of actions needed to realize the vision, including further investment in forest education, communication, research and the creation of jobs, especially for young people. It also stresses the need for new partnerships among the forest, agriculture, finance, energy, water and other sectors, and strong engagement with indigenous peoples and local communities. The Congress underlined that forests are critical to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a message to the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, which will meet later this month in New York to adopt the 2030 development agenda. While SDG 15 addresses the need to sustainably manage forests, trees and forests are also a key to achieving several of the other 16 goals, including those related to ending poverty, achieving food security, promoting sustainable agriculture and ensuring sustainable energy for all, the message says. The Congress also saw the launch of an international five-year forests and water action plan to recognize the role of trees and forests in maintaining the water cycle, and to ensure appropriate management of one of the world's largest sources of freshwater. Almost 4,000 delegates from 142 countries attended the congress, which is held every six years. Congress attendees also had the opportunity to hear about the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, and view CBFA’s giant floor map of Canada’s magnificent boreal forest. CBFA Secretariat Executive Director Aran O’Carroll moderated a panel entitled The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement: From Conflict to Collaboration. He was joined by CBFA signatories, Éric Hébert-Daly, national executive director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), and Mark Hubert, vice-president of environmental leadership for the Forest Products Association of Canada, in the discussion.
September 11, 2015 - After 23 years of service to the Saskatoon and northern Saskatchewan construction and forestry industry from their location on Millar Avenue in Saskatoon's North Industrial area, Brandt Tractor Ltd. is excited to welcome the public to their brand new home on 60th Street. The all-new facility represents a well-timed vote of confidence by the company in the continuing strength of the Saskatoon and area economy and its industry base. “Saskatoon has always been a key market for us, so we pulled out all the stops in the creation of this facility,” says Brandt president Shaun Semple. “Its unique, forward-looking design and increased capacity will significantly enhance our ability to do what we do best; to help our customers to be productive and profitable by offering them the best support in the industry.” The larger, LEAN-designed new facility was created to easily accommodate the growing size range within John Deere's product line; from small skid steer loaders to large production class construction and mining equipment, as well as giving local businesses access to a greatly expanded service department and on-hand parts and whole goods inventory. “Our provincial economy is tremendously resilient and we see significant long-term strength in the industry,” adds Saskatoon branch manager Rod Bowes. “With the unveiling of this purpose-built facility – the only one of its kind in this market - we're demonstrating our firm commitment to our customers.” Brandt will proudly welcome the public to view this exciting new facility located at 800-60th Street West (across from SaskTel Centre off of Highway #16 West) at the grand opening event on Friday, September 11, 2015 from 2 to 8 p.m. The event will feature a number of new John Deere construction and forestry models never before seen in Saskatchewan, including Deere's much-anticipated 1050K production class dozer, along with a 2:30 p.m. program and presentation, shop tours, live entertainment, free food and beverages and a long list of door prizes. About Brandt Group of Companies The Brandt Group of Companies, headquartered in Regina, Sask., is comprised of Brandt Agricultural Products Ltd., Brandt Engineered Products Ltd., Brandt Equipment Solutions Ltd., Brandt Road Rail Corporation, and Brandt Tractor Ltd. Brandt Tractor Ltd. is the world's largest privately held John Deere construction and forestry equipment dealer with 31 locations across Canada. Brandt is one of Canada's largest privately owned companies and is among an elite group of Platinum Members of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies. Source: Brandt Tractor Ltd.
October 9, 2015 - The BC Lumber Trade Council is urging the federal government to engage with the U.S. government to determine a way forward following the expiration of the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement. The agreement has been in effect since 2006 and expires on October 12, 2015. The agreement includes a standstill provision that precludes the U.S. from bringing trade action against Canadian softwood lumber producers for 12 months after the expiration of the agreement. “It is important for governments on both sides of the border to take steps to avoid another lengthy and unnecessary trade dispute in softwood,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. “In the past, these disputes have created uncertainty, hurt consumers and producers, and impeded the growth of the North American market.” The Softwood Lumber Agreement has benefited both countries by providing reliable, affordable, high-quality lumber supply from Canada to the U.S. and maintaining certainty of market access for Canadian producers. “While we believe that another managed trade agreement is possible, we are also actively preparing to defend B.C.’s softwood lumber industry against any potential legal challenges brought by the United States, as we have done successfully in the past,” said Yurkovich. B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S. The B.C. forest industry remains a major contributor to the provincial economy, generating $1.4 billion in revenue for the provincial government and supporting 150,000 forestry-dependent jobs. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.
September 30, 2015 - Canfor Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Anthony Forest Products Company, located in El Dorado, Arkansas, for a purchase price of $93.5 million U.S., which includes approximately $15 million U.S. of working capital.
September 29, 2015 - CFI will be in Montreal early December at OptiSaw to hear, among other things, automation and robotic guru David McPhail talk about how the next gen of technology in his field can help sawmillers deal with the dual issues of labour constraints and unit cost. We caught up with David to ask him what he'll be bringing to the OptiSaw discussion. It goes beyond what we normally envision when thinking automation, embracing data intelligence as well.
September 25, 2015 - According to a recent CBC report, a man in his 50s was killed in a workplace accident at the Twin Rivers sawmill in Plaster Rock, N.B. The man’s death and an investigation into his death were both confirmed by the RCMP and WorkSafeNB. WorkSafeNB stated that the man, a heavy equipment operator, was crushed in a workplace accident on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Read more about the accident here.
September 25, 2015 - At their meeting on Sept. 8, 2015, WorkSafeBC’s governing body, the Board of Directors, approved the release of a discussion paper with options and draft policies to stakeholders for comment. The Partners Program is a voluntary incentive program intended to motivate B.C. employers to take a proactive role in occupational health and safety. Employers registered in the Partners Program who successfully meet the program requirements achieve a Certificate of Recognition (COR) and become eligible to receive a COR rebate. This policy review addresses two key issues: •There is no policy established for the Partners Program to help guide decision-makers. •Practice direction on whether an employer is considered to be in good standing and entitled to receive a COR rebate, is not well defined. The discussion paper, draft policies, and information on how to provide feedback can be accessed through the link below. The consultation period for this item will end on November 27, 2015. The Board of Directors will consider stakeholder feedback before making a decision on the proposed policy. Review or Comment
September 21, 2015 - Valutec is taking the plunge into the North American market. The investment has begun with the formation of the subsidiary Valutec Wood Dryers Inc., which will be headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. “We see great opportunities to expand into the world market, especially since the interest in our new generation of continuous kilns continues to rise,” says Robert Larsson, CEO for Valutec. The investment means Valutec steps into a market that has a long tradition of wood processing. This is an advantage, according to Larsson. “We will encounter customers who regard technology and new working methods as a good way of making full use of the raw material's value, just as they do in Europe. We share their point of view," he says. Valutec, with its long history of lumber drying, has delivered more than 3,000 batch kilns and 1,000 continuous kilns, primarily to the Nordic countries, but also many deliveries to major sawmill markets like Germany and Russia. “Our industry knowledge, experience and unceasing efforts to develop lumber drying means we feel well prepared to take the step into a new market,” says Larsson. Valutec is a world leader in the continuous kiln segment. The company has consolidated this position through the launch of a new generation of continuous kilns known as TC kilns that offer the quality and time efficiency improvements for many different types of raw material demanded by customers. “Wood drying is an important part of a sawmill's value creation and Valutec's offer is perfectly suited for tomorrow's demands. So I chose to work with this investment together with them," says Ingo Wallocha, CEO for Valutec Wood Dryers Inc. Wallocha has many years of experience working within the wood drying and sawmill industry. He has worked primarily in the North American market for the past five years. Valutec's executive management will travel to North America in the weeks ahead to meet with representatives for Canadian and American sawmills on their home turf. “This is truly inspiring and a mile marker in the company’s development,” says Robert Larsson.
September 10, 2015 - Canfor Corporation has announced the permanent closure of its sawmill in Canal Flats, B.C, which has a two-shift production capacity of 180 million board feet. The company anticipates the mill will cease operations on November 9, 2015. All employees impacted by the closure will be offered opportunities to transfer to other divisions of the company. "A lack of economically available fibre supply for our Canal Flats operation, combined with depressed market conditions in the oil and gas and lumber markets that it serves, have brought operating losses we can no longer sustain," said Canfor president and CEO Don Kayne. "We recognize this decision will be difficult for our employees and the community of Canal Flats, and we are committed to doing what we can to ease that transition." About Canfor Canfor is a leading integrated forest products company based in Vancouver, B.C. with interests in B.C., Alberta, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Canfor produces primarily softwood lumber and specialized wood products. Canfor also owns a 51 per cent interest in Canfor Pulp Products Inc., which is one of the largest producers of market northern bleached softwood kraft pulp and a leading producer of high performance kraft paper and also produces bleached chemi-thermo mechanical pulp. Canfor shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CFP. Source: Canfor Corporation
September 3, 2015 - Interfor Corporation (Interfor) has announced plans to reduce production across its operating platform in the U.S. South by 20 percent on a temporary basis in response to weak market demand. The curtailments will be taken by way of reduced hours at five of the company's mills in the region and will remain in place until market conditions dictate otherwise. "Prices for Southern Yellow Pine lumber have fallen by 27 percent since the beginning of the year as available supply has outstripped product demand in the region," said Duncan Davies, Interfor's president and CEO. "This action will help bring Interfor's production and the needs of our customers back into balance. It will also help to keep inventory levels in check as we move into the fall." The curtailments are at Interfor's sawmills in Baxley, Thomaston and Meldrim, Ga.; Georgetown, S.C.; and Monticello, Ark. During this time, Interfor will implement a series of planned maintenance and reliability improvements at the affected sawmills which will offset the financial impact of the curtailments on a go-forward basis. Interfor has nine sawmills across the U.S. South, with total annual capacity of approximately 1.3 billion board feet. Forward-looking statements This release contains information and statements that are forward-looking in nature, including, but not limited to, statements containing the words "will", "plans" and "is expected" and similar expressions. Such statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause Interfor's actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others: general economic and business conditions, product selling prices, raw material and operating costs, changes in foreign-currency exchange rates, and other factors referenced herein and in Interfor's Annual Report and Annual Information Form available on www.sedar.com. The forward-looking information and statements contained in this report are based on Interfor's current expectations and beliefs. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information or statements. Interfor undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking information or statements, except where required by law. About Interfor Interfor is a growth-oriented lumber company with operations in Canada and the United States. The Company has annual production capacity of more than 3 billion board feet and offers one of the most diverse lines of lumber products to customers around the world. For more information about Interfor, visit the website at www.interfor.com.
August 31, 2015 - New sawing technology is driving both recovery and production from L&M Lumber’s larger logs, although at this mill, large is relative. Originally opened in 1973 and named after its founders, Lloyd Larsen and Mike Manojlovic, the sawmill focused on processing the large amounts of small profile timber that were available at the time, due to large scale clearing of agricultural land in the area. Small profile timber is still a mainstay at the sawmill. The majority of the wood processed on site is used to make 2x4s, as well as a smaller amount of 2x6s and a few other products.
August 13, 2015 - Understanding the needs, footprint and budget are the three key factors for the construction of a brand new sawmill. When officials at Irving understood the reality of each of those three factors, they knew that something completely different would be necessary.
August 10, 2015 - With the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) set to expire this coming October, many companies and individuals within the sector have been waiting with bated breath for a new deal to be chiselled out between Canada and the U.S. And unlike the last time the SLA was set to expire in 2013 – but was renewed for two years until 2015 – the option for an extension is no longer available.
August 6, 2015 - Conifex Timber Inc. has announced that it has completed the purchase of 100 per cent of the outstanding shares and shareholder loans of a private Delaware company ("AcquisitionCo"). The consideration consisted of 100,000 common shares of the company at a deemed price of CAD$6.75, as well as the reimbursement of certain costs previously incurred by the vendor. AcquisitionCo had the exclusive rights to acquire a sawmill and related facilities and equipment, including approximately 186 acres of land, located near El Dorado, Ark., ("El Dorado Mill"). Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, AcquisitionCo exercised its right to acquire the El Dorado Mill for total consideration of US$21 million, comprised of US$12.36 million in cash and an US$8.64 million vendor mortgage. “It's important to Conifex to secure this ideal site and high quality infrastructure in one of the most advantaged softwood supply regions in North America,” said Ken Shields, CEO of Conifex. “The uncertainties flowing from the expiry and renegotiation of the Softwood Lumber Agreement could potentially impact the timing of the modernization and upgrade of our Canadian sawmills, while we expect the SLA will have less impact on capital expenditure decisions for mills located in the U.S.” The El Dorado Mill is situated in an area well regarded for its availability of high quality sawlogs within cost effective proximity and a skilled labor pool. The company is currently completing its review to evaluate the optimal capital upgrade for the El Dorado site, following which management expects to determine the priority in which to rebuild its currently idled Mackenzie Site I mill or the El Dorado Mill. Over the longer term, the company expects to undertake capital upgrades to rebuild both of these mills. The common shares issued pursuant to the Purchase Agreement will be subject to a hold period expiring four months and one day following closing. About Conifex Timber Inc. Conifex and its subsidiaries' primary business currently includes timber harvesting, reforestation, forest management, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value added lumber finishing and distribution. Conifex's lumber products are sold in the United States, Chinese, Canadian and Japanese markets. Conifex has expanded its operations to include bioenergy production following the commencement of commercial operations of its power generation facility at Mackenzie, British Columbia. Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements in this news release may constitute "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are statements that address or discuss activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future. When used in this news release, words such as "estimates", "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "projects", "will", "believes", "intends" "should", "could", "may" and other similar terminology are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations and beliefs of the Company's management. Because forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or industry may be materially different from those implied by such forward-looking statements. Examples of such forward-looking information that may be contained in this news release include statements regarding: timing of completion of capital upgrade reviews; impact of the SLA on capital expenditures; timing and completion of capital upgrades, if any, to the El Dorado Mill and Mackenzie Site I mill; growth and future prospects of our business; our perceptions of the industry and markets in which we operate and anticipated trends in such markets and in the countries in which we do business; and benefits that may accrue to the Company as a result of certain capital expenditure programs. Assumptions underlying the Company's expectations regarding forward-looking information contained in this news release include, among others: that the Company will be able to effectively market its products; that the U.S. housing market will continue to improve; therefrom; that softwood lumber will experience sustained demand in the marketplace; the general stability of the economic, political and regulatory environments within the countries where the Company conducts operations; the ability of the Company to obtain financing (if necessary) on acceptable terms or at all; that interest and foreign exchange rates will not vary materially from current levels; and that the equipment at our mills will operate at expected levels. Forward-looking statements involve significant uncertainties, should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: those relating to potential disruptions to production and delivery, including as a result of equipment failures, labour issues, the complex integration of processes and equipment and other factors; labour relations; failure to meet regulatory requirements; changes in the market; potential downturns in economic conditions; fluctuations in the price and supply of required materials, including log costs; fluctuations in the market price for products sold; foreign exchange fluctuations; trade restrictions or import duties imposed by foreign governments; availability of financing (as necessary); shipping or logging disruptions; and other risk factors described in the Company's 2014 annual information form, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. These risks, as well as others, could cause actual results and events to vary significantly. Accordingly, readers should exercise caution in relying upon forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise them to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.
September 17, 2015 - Louisiana-Pacific Corporation announced that it will not submit a project to the Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks’ Project Office to reacquire the wood license associated with its Chambord, Que., oriented strand board (OSB) mill. After an in-depth analysis of the mill’s historical and projected costs, LP determined that market demand does not warrant operating the Chambord mill at this time, and it is not appropriate to reacquire the wood license without a plan for operating the mill. “Based on these analyses, we do not believe that in the current OSB market, the mill can be operated competitively,” LP executive vice-president, OSB, Brad Southern said. “The mill will remain curtailed indefinitely for the foreseeable future.” LP indefinitely curtailed production at the mill in 2008 due to worsening North American housing market conditions. OSB is a commodity structural panel product that is highly dependent on cyclical and sometimes volatile North American housing starts and subject to competitive forces of regional supply and demand. LP’s decision to not submit a project is based on the ongoing soft market for residential building materials in North America, high production and raw materials costs in Chambord and a competitive landscape that has become more challenging over the last seven years. “The restart of this mill will require a substantial capital investment, and there’s no guarantee that we would get a return on that investment now, or in the foreseeable future,” said Mike Blosser, LP’s vice-president for EHS, forest resources, supply and logistics. It is important to note that LP continues to operate and invest in its Maniwaki, Que., OSB mill, Blosser said. “We look forward to working with the Ministry to ensure the economic viability of LP Maniwaki through volatile cycles of the North American housing market,” Blosser added. About LP Louisiana-Pacific Corporation is a leading manufacturer of quality engineered wood building materials including OSB, structural framing products, and exterior siding for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction. From manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, Chile and Brazil, LP products are sold to builders and homeowners through building materials distributors and dealers and retail home centers. Founded in 1973, LP is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under LPX. For more information, visit www.lpcorp.com.
September 16, 2015 - ARAUCO North America announced plans to build a new particleboard mill in Grayling, Mich. to produce 424 million sq. ft. (750,000m3)/year of panels, along with full lamination capabilities to support the company's thermally fused laminate decorative surfacing program.This $325-million investment will be the single largest continuous particleboard press in North America and one of the highest capacity presses in the world. Groundbreaking is estimated for late 2016, with the rollout of the first panel during the latter part of 2018.
August 25, 2015 - The wood/fiber-based panels sector is enjoying improved commercial and consumer end-use demand levels on a sub-regional scale, based on recovering organic growth following the recession.
July 30, 2015 - Norbord Inc. recently reported adjusted EBITDA of $18 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared to $14 million in the first quarter of 2015 and $46 million in the second quarter of 2014. The year-over-year change is primarily due to lower North American oriented strand board (OSB) prices. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $11 million in the quarter, unchanged from the prior quarter and compared to $37 million in the same quarter last year. European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $10 million in the quarter versus $7 million in the prior quarter and $12 million in the same quarter last year. “The poor North American OSB demand/capacity ratio continued to impact OSB prices in the second quarter,” said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord's president and CEO. “We curtailed production at several mills in response to the slower than expected rebound in new home construction demand. However, the May and June US housing data was encouraging, we are starting to see a pick-up in export orders and our sales to home improvement and industrial customers continue to grow. All this supports our belief that the OSB market dynamic will gradually improve in the coming quarters. In the meantime, our manufacturing costs continue to decline as we focus on our controllables and benefit from lower resin prices and the weaker Canadian dollar. "In Europe, our financial results are back on track, returning to their trend of generating double-digit quarterly EBITDA. Improving sales volumes in our key markets, particularly the UK, are offsetting the impact of lower OSB prices and the weaker Euro. "Finally, we remain focused on our integration efforts following the completion of our merger with Ainsworth four months ago. Of our $45 million annualized synergies target, we have already realized $4 million from early initiatives. Our sales and financial systems were recently integrated, and we remain on track to achieve half of our synergies target by year-end.” Norbord recorded an adjusted loss of $13 million or $0.15 per share (basic and diluted) in the second quarter of 2015 compared to an adjusted loss of $15 million or $0.18 per share (basic and diluted) in the prior quarter and adjusted earnings of $9 million or $0.11 per basic share ($0.10 per diluted share) in the second quarter of 2014. Market Conditions In North America, June year-to-date U.S. housing starts were up 11 per cent versus the same period in 2014. Single family starts, which use approximately three times more OSB than multi-family, increased by nine per cent. Permits were 16 per cent higher year-over-year and the seasonally-adjusted annualized rate stands at 1.34 million. The consensus forecast from U.S. housing economists is 1.1 million starts for 2015, which would be a 10 per cent improvement over last year. Despite improving U.S. new home construction activity, prices continue to be impacted by the poor OSB demand/capacity ratio. While North Central, South East and Western Canada benchmark OSB prices all increased earlier in the quarter, this upward momentum flattened in June. The North Central benchmark OSB price averaged $193 per thousand square feet (Msf) (7/16-inch basis) for the quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter and compared to $219 per Msf in the same quarter last year. In the South East region, where approximately 35% of Norbord's North American OSB capacity is located, benchmark prices averaged $174 per Msf compared to $175 per Msf in the prior quarter and $199 per Msf in the same quarter last year. The Western Canada benchmark averaged $152 per Msf for the quarter, compared to $159 per Msf in the previous quarter and $206 per Msf in the same quarter last year. In Europe, panel demand continues to grow, reflecting improving housing markets and OSB substitution in the Company's core geographies, particularly the UK and Germany. However, OSB prices remain under pressure due to the weaker Euro and the redirection of eastern European supply toward the west as a result of the ongoing Ukraine conflict. Particleboard prices remained steady, while medium density fibreboard (MDF) prices were down slightly. As a result, second quarter average panel prices were down 3% from the prior quarter and 12% lower than the same quarter last year. Performance North American OSB shipments increased by 10 per cent, quarter-over-quarter, primarily due to increased productivity and more fiscal days in the second quarter. Second quarter shipments were in line with the same quarter last year as improved mill productivity offset production curtailments. Norbord's operating North American OSB mills produced at approximately 90% of stated capacity (excluding the two curtailed mills in Huguley, Alabama and Val-d'Or, Quebec) compared to 85% in the prior quarter and 90 per cent in the same quarter last year. Mill productivity improved over both comparative quarters with capacity utilization impacted by the level of production curtailments. Norbord's North American OSB cash production costs per unit decreased by five per cent compared to the prior quarter and seven per cent, versus the same quarter last year due to lower resin prices, improved productivity and lower raw material use. The year-over-year decline was also driven by the weaker Canadian dollar. In Europe, Norbord's shipments were three per cent higher versus the prior quarter and 11 per cent higher than the same quarter last year. Three of the four mills achieved quarterly production records and the European operations produced at approximately 100 per cent of stated capacity compared to 95 per cent in the prior quarter and 95% in the same quarter last year (based on restated capacity). As previously reported, at year-end 2014 the annual capacity at three of the four mills was restated. Norbord's mills delivered Margin Improvement Program (MIP) gains of $21 million year-to-date primarily from improved productivity and lower raw material use. Capital investments totalled $28 million year-to-date compared to $53 million in 2014 due to the larger scope of capital projects undertaken last year. Norbord's 2015 planned capital expenditures remain targeted at $70 million and include further debottlenecking and cost reduction projects under the Company's multi-year capital reinvestment strategy. Operating working capital was $151 million at quarter-end compared to $146 million in the prior quarter and $158 million at the end of the same quarter last year with changes primarily driven by seasonality, timing and foreign exchange translation. At quarter-end, Norbord had unutilized liquidity of $326 million, consisting of $10 million in cash and $316 million in unused credit lines. At quarter-end, $50 million was drawn under the accounts receivable securitization program. The company's tangible net worth was $738 million and net debt to total capitalization on a book basis was 50%. Both ratios remain well within bank covenants. As previously disclosed, following the Ainsworth merger Norbord amended its revolving bank lines to reset the tangible net worth covenant to $450 million and increased its accounts receivable securitization program commitment limit from $100 million to $125 million. Developments As previously announced, Norbord completed its merger with Ainsworth on March 31, 2015. Under the terms of the all-share transaction, Norbord acquired all of the outstanding common shares of Ainsworth and Ainsworth shareholders received 0.1321 of a share of Norbord for each Ainsworth share. Ainsworth became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norbord. On April 16, 2015, Norbord completed the issuance of $315 million in senior secured notes due 2023 with an interest rate of 6.25 per cent. Debt issue costs of $6 million were incurred in connection with the issuance. The company used the proceeds to redeem prior to maturity the $315 million senior secured notes due 2017 that were assumed upon closing of the merger on March 31, 2015. As a result of the early redemption, a cash premium of $13 million was paid, a $1 million non-cash charge related to net unamortized debt issue costs was recorded and an $11 million non-cash charge to extinguish the related derivative financial instrument was recognized. Dividend Norbord's variable dividend policy targets the payment to shareholders of a portion of free cash flow based upon the Company's financial position, results of operations, cash flow, capital requirements and restrictions under the Company's revolving bank lines, as well as the market outlook for the Company's principal products and broader market and economic conditions, among other factors. Taking into account weaker than expected North American OSB prices to-date in 2015, to maintain flexibility in the Company's capital structure, as well as to fund growth and other attractive capital investment opportunities, the Board of Directors has adjusted the quarterly dividend level to CAD $0.10 per common share. Accordingly, the Board declared a quarterly dividend of CAD $0.10 per common share, payable on September 21, 2015 to shareholders of record on September 1, 2015. The Board retains the discretion to amend the Company's dividend policy in any manner and at any time as it may deem necessary or appropriate in the future. For these reasons, as well as others, the Board in its sole discretion can decide to increase, maintain, decrease, suspend or discontinue the payment of cash dividends in the future. Additional information Norbord's Q2 2015 letter to shareholders, news release, management's discussion and analysis, consolidated unaudited interim financial statements and notes to the financial statements have been filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are available in the investor section of the Company's website at www.norbord.com. Shareholders are encouraged to read this material. Norbord Profile Norbord Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of wood-based panels and the world's largest producer of oriented strand board (OSB). In addition to OSB, Norbord manufactures particleboard, medium density fibreboard and related value-added products. Norbord has assets of approximately $1.8 billion and employs approximately 2,600 people at 17 plant locations in the United States, Canada and Europe. Norbord is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NBD. This news release contains forward-looking statements, as defined in applicable legislation, including statements related to our strategy, projects, plans, future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance. Often, but not always, words such as "expect," "believe," "forecast," "likely," "support," "target," "consider," "continue," "suggest," "intend," "should," "appear," "would," "will," "will not," "plan," "can," "may," and other expressions which are predictions of or indicate future events, trends or prospects and which do not relate to historical matters identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Norbord to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Although Norbord believes it has a reasonable basis for making these forward-looking statements, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, which contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts and other forward-looking statements will not occur. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated or implied by forward-looking statements include: general economic conditions; risks inherent with product concentration; effects of competition and product pricing pressures; risks inherent with customer dependence; effects of variations in the price and availability of manufacturing inputs; risks inherent with a capital intensive industry; ability to realize synergies; and other risks and factors described from time to time in filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Except as required by applicable laws, Norbord does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, or to publicly update or revise the above list of factors affecting this information. See the "Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information" statement in the January 27, 2015 Annual Information Form and the cautionary statement contained in the "Forward-Looking Statements" section of the 2014 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated January 27, 2015 and Q2 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated July 29, 2015. Norbord defines Adjusted EBITDA as earnings (loss) before finance costs, income taxes, depreciation and other unusual or non-recurring items, and adjusted earnings (loss) as earnings (loss) determined in accordance with IFRS before unusual or non-recurring items and using a normalized income tax rate. Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings (loss) are non-International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) financial measures, do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. See "Non-IFRS Financial Measures" in Norbord's Q2 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated July 29, 2015 for a quantitative reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings (loss) to earnings (the most directly comparable IFRS measure). To Our Shareholders, This is our first quarter following the merger with Ainsworth and in spite of a slower than expected recovery in OSB demand in North America, it is an exciting time for our Company. Through the transaction with Ainsworth, we now have the opportunity to build a leading global wood products company, active on three continents, better positioned to serve our customers, and able to achieve higher returns for our shareholders. We expect to realize the full benefits of the merger over the next several quarters. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $18 million, which is largely in line with the previous quarter. Low OSB prices have been offset by strong operational performance and cost reductions across all of our mills. Long time Norbord shareholders will notice that our North American numbers now include production at our mills in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, as well as results from our Asian export business. With all the positive headlines coming out of the US housing market, you may be wondering why this did not flow through to our financial performance in the second quarter. The most recent numbers for June show that US housing starts have increased 11% year-to-date and are currently at a 1.17 million annual pace. But the APA industry production statistics show this did not translate into increased demand on North American OSB mills. We believe there were two main drivers: a pro-dealer network (which services the large home builders) that was destocking inventories and the stronger US dollar which has lowered overseas export volume. As a result, industry-wide operating capacity was more than sufficient to satisfy demand. While this has made the first half of this year disappointing, we see encouraging signs in the market. Asian export orders are starting to pick-up again, and this region remains an exciting area with real growth potential for Norbord. In the US, June housing permits were at a 1.34 million annual pace and we believe pro-dealer inventories are now at rock bottom levels. These suggest increased demand, and a gradual improvement of the industry demand/capacity ratio, which we would expect to lead to better OSB prices. Other positive signs include our year-to-date sales to North American home improvement and furniture customers that were up about 8%. Sales in these channels are an important aspect of our diversification strategy away from new home construction, giving us more consistent shipment volumes during periods of volatile homebuilding-related demand. Our European business performed well this quarter. The United Kingdom is our key market and we have realized double-digit year-over-year gains in sales there. Sales volume for all our panel products was up 5% versus the prior quarter and 12% versus the previous year. These higher volumes have helped offset the softer OSB price environment and put our European financial results back on trend. All of our mills continued to operate well, with increased uptime and speed. These productivity improvements combined with further progress on reducing raw material use resulted in $21 million in year-to-date Margin Improvement Program gains. As a result, cash manufacturing costs – a key operational metric – decreased at both our North American and European mills and are now 12% lower than 18 months ago. The key corporate priority this year is the integration of the former Ainsworth operations into the 'new Norbord'. Since the completion of the merger in April we have made great strides, including moving the two companies to single sales and financial reporting systems at the end of the quarter. We were able to complete this conversion in three months, without any disruption to the business, and our customers are telling us that the transition has been seamless from their perspective. As part of the integration effort we have achieved a number of early savings and have already captured $4 million in annualized synergies. Corporate synergies are already locked in and will be evident in our numbers starting in Q4. The majority of the remaining opportunities involve optimizing our product mix across a broader platform to lower freight and manufacturing costs and implementing a number of process and technology changes across our seventeen mills. We are on track to reach half of our $45 million annualized synergy target by year-end. In today's press release, you will see that the Board has adjusted the quarterly dividend level to CAD $0.10 per share. For the reasons set out above, we did not see the expected improvement in the North American OSB market during the seasonally stronger second quarter. This had us re-evaluate our outlook for the near term and take the prudent step of reducing our dividend payout. We remain committed to returning cash to shareholders, and will continue to evaluate the dividend level as the US housing recovery plays out. Looking further ahead, we remain convinced that OSB demand will improve. Our operational results, particularly our continued progress on costs, demonstrate that the fundamentals of our company are solid. Our financial results this quarter are not where we would like them to be. However, we are confident we will see the benefits of steadily improving market conditions in our results as we focus on continuing to execute on our business strategy and achieving the merger synergies. Thank you for your continued confidence and investment in Norbord. I look forward to reporting on our continued progress next quarter. Peter Wijnbergen President & CEO This letter includes forward-looking statements, as defined by applicable securities legislation including statements related to our strategy, projects, plans, future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "expect," "suggest," "support," "believe," "should," "potential," "likely," "continue," "forecast," "plan," "indicate," "consider," "future," or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions "may," "could," "must," "would," "might," or "will" be undertaken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Norbord to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. See the cautionary language in the Forward-Looking Statements section of the 2014 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated January 27, 2015 and Q2 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated July 29, 2015. Norbord defines Adjusted EBITDA as earnings (loss) before finance costs, income taxes, depreciation and other unusual or non-recurring items. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) financial measure, does not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and is therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. See "Non-IFRS Financial Measures" in Norbord's Q2 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated July 29, 2015 for a quantitative reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to earnings (the most directly comparable IFRS measure).
July 8, 2015 - Canada's wood products industry is benefiting from the ongoing recovery in the U.S. housing and a weaker Canadian dollar, according to The Conference Board of Canada's latest outlook for Canada's wood products industry. "The continued recovery in the U.S. housing market is supporting increased demand for Canadian wood products, leading to a 8.7 per cent increase in export volumes this year," said Michael Burt, Director, Industrial Economic Trends, The Conference Board of Canada. "However, while production should remain strong over the next five years, growth is set to eventually slow due to timber shortages in B.C. and softer growth in demand from China." Highlights Rising production and higher prices mean industry revenues are set to reach nearly $29 billion by 2016. Pushed higher by increases in production and rising material costs, industry costs are expected to rise by 8.7 per cent in 2015. The spread of the mountain pine beetle continues to pose a risk for Canada's lumber supply. Industry production is expected to grow by 6 per cent in 2015. This, combined with higher prices will support industry revenues, which are set to reach just under $29 billion by 2016. However, rising production and material costs are expected to drive strong cost growth in the industry. Overall, industry costs are set to rise by 8.7 per cent in 2015. The industry will need to find cost-cutting initiatives to help support its bottom line. With cost increases forecast to exceed revenue growth, pre-tax profits in the wood manufacturing industry are expected to fall 0.2 per cent to $1.4 billion in 2015. Various risks cloud the outlook over the medium term. While production will continue to increase, timber supply constraints (a result of the mountain pine beetle infestation) will continue to limit domestic production. These supply problem will plague lumber companies operating in British Columbia's interior and could lead to plant closures. In addition, the current Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber agreement is set to expire this October, which will likely affect Canadian softwood lumber producers' access to the U.S. market. SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
June 4, 2015 - MTS Sensors, a division of MTS Systems Corporation, has further expanded its R-Series of robust, high performance magnetostrictive position sensors with a new device which has the capacity to deliver reliability and industry-leading accuracy in even the most demanding work environments. Utilizing the company’s proprietary Temposonics technology, the RT4 is a linear position measurement solution that features two independent sensor elements - each of which has a measuring length of 50 mm to 2540 mm (2” to 100”). Targeted at use in lumber mills, steel processing plants and power generation sites, this fully redundant position sensing product employs a Synchronous Serial Interface (SSI), which means that data transfer is less susceptible to the presence of electro-magnetic interference. In addition, the IP68-rated enclosure protects against the threat of liquid ingress. The RT4’s detached electronics can be mounted up to 600 mm (23.6”) away from the sensing environment allowing the electronics to be kept further from sources of potential harm. A temperature range that reaches up to 100˚C (212˚F) is supported for the sensor rod and interconnection cables. “Thanks to the combination of detached electronics and redundancy function, the RT4 sets itself apart from conventional position sensing hardware,” states Matt Hankinson, Technical Marketing Manager at MTS Sensors. ”This unit is optimized to function in extremely challenging application surroundings while maintaining high performance.” Through MTS Sensor’s ground-breaking Temposonics magnetostrictive sensor technology, precise, non-contact position measurement data can be acquired. Temposonics-based devices can deal with the exacting mechanical stresses found in modern industrial settings without being subject to wear and tear.
April 20, 2015 - MTS Sensors, a division of MTS Systems Corporation, has introduced a high performance magnetostrictive position sensor, using its innovative Temposonics technology. The ET sensor is very well suited to deployment in applications with high temperature environments. It can deliver up to 0.005mm resolution when used in combination with a suitable controller. Industrial facilities dedicated to pressboard production or the processing of steel/iron need instrumentation that provides maximum safety and reliability, regardless of difficult working conditions. The new ET product offering significantly extends the supported temperature range of the MTS E-Series, with the ability to precisely determine exact positions even at 105°C temperature levels. This small rod sensor can be integrated directly into a cylinder, with rod length options covering 50mm to 3000mm. It exhibits linearity deviation of less than 0.02 per cent (full scale). ET sensors have liquid ingress protection in accordance with IP68. Furthermore, ATEX certification for hazardous areas is available. These devices are equipped with a start/stop interface. They also have the capacity for sensor parameters to be automatically uploaded. A 316L stainless steel variant can be specified if needed. "The ET sensor is designed to be reliable and operationally effective in industry sectors where elevated temperatures are a major concern,” said Robert Luong, MTS Sensors’ industrial technical marketing manager. “The magnetostrictive technology it utilizes provides a wear-free sensing mechanism that has significant value in heavy industrial settings.” The proprietary Temposonics magnetostrictive sensing technology developed by MTS Sensors is designed to offer a non-contact method for accurately measuring position, which permits its implementation into the most demanding of application environments. Sensors based on this technology are highly resilient to shock, vibrations and extreme temperatures.
April 2, 2015 - Norbord Inc. and Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. announced the completion of their merger on April 1, 2015.
March 24, 2015 - Globally traded hardwood chips for the manufacturing of pulp and wood-based panels have trended downward for much of the past three and a half years. However, this trend broke in late 2014 and early 2015 when prices slowly started to increase.
Feb. 27, 2015 – Lower OSB prices, a slower recovery of the U.S. housing market and higher overall unit costs contributed to weaker-than-expected fourth quarter and year end financial results for Ainsworth in 2014. Sales of $102.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 were $1.9 million lower than sales of $104.4 million for the same period in 2013. The decrease in sales was mainly due to a 4% decrease in realized pricing. Sales volumes increased by 2% due to the ongoing ramp up of High Level notwithstanding downtime taken during the fourth quarter. The impact of the U.S. benchmark declines on realized pricing was moderated by factors including the effect of a weaker Canadian dollar relative to the fourth quarter of 2013 combined with stable export pricing in Japan. Sales were $444.0 million in 2014 compared to $488.0 million in 2013. The $44.0 million decrease was primarily related to a 17% decrease in realized pricing, partially offset by a 9% increase in sales volumes. The impact of the U.S. benchmark declines on realized pricing was again moderated by factors including the effect of a weaker Canadian dollar relative to 2013 combined with stable export pricing in Japan. The increase in volume from High Level was partially offset by the downtime taken at the various mills to complete maintenance and other projects during the year. Ainsworth President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Lake said, "North American OSB market conditions continued to drift throughout the year as the pace of demand growth did not materialize as expected. However, we remain optimistic that U.S. housing starts will return to more historical levels within the next several years, with various indicators pointing towards strong growth in 2015 versus 2014. "We maintained the strong performance we saw in 2013 in our key export market in Japan and also made progress in China as we began commercial shipments of our industrial core stock products. Additionally, we progressed in the ongoing ramp up of our High Level mill, including the completion of a number of strategic capital projects that will further position the mill to efficiently manufacture an enhanced range of products for North American and Asian customers." While the pace of improvement in U.S. housing starts in 2014 was more gradual than anticipated, Ainsworth expects that the U.S. housing recovery will gain further traction in 2015. The company remains optimistic that U.S. housing starts will return to more historical levels within the next several years. The restart of the High Level mill will allow them to meet the growing requirements of its existing customer base in North America and Asia as well as service new market segments. Ainsworth expects the merger with Norbord will allow the combined company to capitalize on the ongoing recovery in the U.S. housing market and growth opportunities in our traditional and emerging markets in Asia.
Feb. 19, 2015 – River Bend Wood Products, a hardwood flooring business based in Nova Scotia’s Antigonish County, is shutting down due to a lack of locally-sourced hardwood. According to an article from The Chronicle Herald, the struggles are not new in the region. River Bend may be the newest company to go out of business due to the hardwood shortage, but it certainly isn’t the first and is not likely to be the last. Groupe Savoie, which operates a hardwood sawmill in nearby Westville, could be next due to a lack of available logs. It was expected that the hardwood consumed at the Nova Scotia Power biomass boiler would be low-value hardwood, leaving the higher value stems to companies like Groupe Savoie. However, to this point, that has yet to materialize. For more on this story, CLICK HERE
Feb. 3, 2015 - How would you feel about saving $1.57/m³ on your delivered wood costs? How about having access to better-defined cutblock boundary lines, a fully optimized road network or dealing with reduced mill-yard inventory? Sounds good, right? These appear to be just a few of the benefits related to the use of Enhanced Forest Inventory (EFI), yet not many companies seem interested in investing in EFI-allowing technologies such as aerial LiDAR. A formidable laser-based remote sensing technology, LiDAR measures distance by sending thousands of pulses of light with a laser from an aircraft and analyzing what reflects back (http://tinyurl.com/pe8ayfh). Only a handful of cases of documented cost/benefit analyses actually exist to guide the decision-making process when choosing from all the available technologies designed to significantly improve inventory knowledge. Hence, EFI technologies still remain a marginal practice among forestry technology and service providers. Confident in its capacity to transform the forest sector, FPInnovations set out to find out what EFI is really about. Partnering with Tembec and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) allowed researchers from FPInnovations’ Value Maximisation research program to evaluate the monetary impact of EFI on forest operations and primary wood products manufacturing. The results have turned out convincingly in favour of EFI: great return on investment, better knowledge of forest inventory, smaller road network, efficient harvesting operations and increased forest machine productivity. With smaller mill yard inventories of greater value, sawing cost can be reduced and lumber value increased, mostly due to the increased size of timber. The big question now is: why haven’t more companies picked up on the new generation of technologies designed to help them be more profitable? Innovation in the field of forest inventory is no science-fiction. Today, there are very real cost-competitive technologies that allow accurate data gathering about forest stand attributes. Using these tools, foresters can truly maximize the value of forest products by lowering production costs and increasing the value of processed forest products. However, one obvious barrier in justifying the investment relates to the complexity of validating the benefits. Testing EFI processes and technologies involves getting access to data collected along the entire forest sector value chain. Since FPInnovations is all about value chain integration, researchers were able to gather the relevant information to compare the volumes as well as the wood net value resulting from two inventory data sets (traditional vs LiDAR-EFI). Very promising advancesIn addition to being costly, traditional forest inventories are difficult to update. In terms of stands, they produce a lack of volume precision in the area of 20 to 40 per cent, often making it necessary to obtain additional data in order to make informed decisions. There is a lack of data on variability of dendrometric characteristics within forest stands which limits harvest-planning decisions. Accuracy of inventory data is very important since many decisions and actions are taken along the wood value chain based primarily on forestry inventory data. Inaccuracies result in costs for forest stakeholders at various levels and also mean that landowners run the risk of not maximizing benefits or value from resources (wood fibre, habitat, tourism, etc.). Aerial LiDAROne of the challenges met by the Enhanced Forest Inventory process is to provide foresters with precise and detailed information, both on a large and operational scale for each block to be processed. The arrival of aerial LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) has allowed foresters to meet this challenge head on. The quality of the information can now exceed expectations and an entire forest can now be inventoried at resolution as high as 400 m2. Furthermore, major steps have been taken toward posting the internal attributes of the wood’s fibre on forest maps using the EvaluTree program (a joint collaboration by FPInnovations and the University of Northern British Columbia). Aerial LiDAR generates measurements in 3D space that provide a good description of the forest canopy and stand structure, which can be used to accurately predict tree crown dimensions, height, volume canopy density and biomass. Measurements made at the ground surface can be used to accurately map waterways (creeks, bogs, rivers, lakes) and topography across an entire forest (figure 1). While limited plot data are needed to calibrate LiDAR predictions, field sampling is no longer required for stand-, block-, and forest-level estimates. The wall-to-wall precision provided by LiDAR leads to better growth projections, product recovery models, taper models, biomass models, as well as silvicultural optimization and operational planning. Maps created with LiDAR also provide valuable information for road construction by identifying optimized log extraction routes. Block contours are also better defined, impacting the precision of performance calculations (m³/stem/ha). Furthermore, a more detailed knowledge of forest structure makes silvicultural prescriptions easier. Combined with FPInterface software, LiDAR obtained cartographic and georeferenced data allow better prediction of operational costs for harvesting, transportation, road construction and silviculture. Field testing EFI technologyBy comparing two inventory data sets (traditional versus LiDAR-EFI), FPInnovations researchers were able to estimate costs and benefits of each method. To ensure the accuracy of LiDAR inventories, actual volumes harvested (scaled) were compared to yield estimates derived from the traditional inventory (OMNR provincial inventory) and to the LiDAR-enhanced inventory. The study focused on 14 cutblocks from Tembec’s 2009 forest management plan. Ultimately, in this study, the cost of $0.10/m³ for the LiDAR-EFI was largely offset by reduced wood costs. FPInnovations observed a net gain of $1.57/m³ when compared with the actual harvest as planned from traditional forest inventory. Watch FPInnovations’ video on EFI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VmAy6rxt-U For more information, please contact Francis Charette at 514-782-4608 or
October 2, 2015 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of the shares of Ram Forest Group Inc. and Ramfor Lumber Inc.
October 2, 2015 - A settlement was reached at the Ontario Labour Relations Board for the wrongfully terminated employees of Gingrich Woodcraft, the custom cabinetry-making factory in Devlin, Ont. that was closed by its owners in August when workers at the factory voted to unionize and join Unifor. The owners had claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from working with a union.
August 19, 2015 - Goodfellow Inc. has signed of a letter of intent to form a treated wood manufacturing company. Goodfellow Inc. and Groupe Lebel Cambium will be joint shareholders of the company, which will consist of seven wood treating plants to better serve markets in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. Group Lebel Cambium's four plants located in Bancroft and Caledon, Ont. and Dégelis and St-Joseph, Que. will be combined with Goodfellow's three plants in Delson, Que., Elmsdale, N.S. and Deer Lake, Nfld. to form a new business unit focused on operational excellence. The company becomes one of the largest producers of treated wood in Eastern Canada with an unrivaled geographic coverage. In conjunction with the creation of the new company, Goodfellow Inc. receives the exclusive mandate to market and distribute the entire production of the company. This transaction will enhance the strengths of both partners to better serve the pressure treated wood customers throughout Eastern Canada. This transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2015 and is subject to customary closing conditions. About Goodfellow Inc. Goodfellow Inc. is one of eastern Canada's largest independent re-manufacturers and distributors of lumber and hardwood flooring products. Goodfellow shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol GDL. About Groupe Lebel Groupe Lebel Inc is an important privately-owned Company operating sawmills and value-added wood products fabrication. Groupe Lebel's plants are mainly located in Eastern Quebec, in Dégelis, Squatec, Price ant St-Just de Bretenières. www.groupelebel.com. For more details, please go to www.goodfellowinc.com and www.groupelebel.com.
August 18, 2015 - Just days after the majority of the workers at Gingrich Woodcraft Inc. voted in favour of joining Unifor, the company shut its doors and let go staff, according to a recent article in the Fort Frances Times. “It is almost inconceivable that in a country like Canada in 2015, we are dealing with an employer that is willing to take the position that the Constitution and Ontario labour laws somehow do not apply to employees of Mennonite-operated businesses in [Rainy River District],” Unifor national representative Stephen Boon told the Times. To read the full article, click here.
August 12, 2015 - About two dozen workers at Gingrich Woodcraft near Fort Frances voted 69% in favour of joining Unifor today. This group of wood workers specializes in the production of custom cabinets and furniture. “We are extremely pleased to welcome these new members to Unifor and we look forward to sitting down with them in the coming weeks to prepare for negotiations on a new first contract,” said Stephen Boon, national representative for Unifor. “Unifor continues to expand across the Kenora and Rainy River Districts gaining back over 400 new members this year through several successful organizing drives and the re-start of sawmills in Kenora and Ear Falls.” Unifor is the largest private sector union in Canada and represents over 305,000 members in 20 economic sectors.
August 10, 2015 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced its financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2015. “Stella-Jones produced solid operating results in the second quarter driven by healthy demand in its core markets and a wider reach in the residential lumber category,” said Brian McManus, president and CEO. “Margins benefited from further selling price adjustments in response to evolving market conditions in the untreated railway tie market and from greater network efficiency. Finally, our significant operating cash flow was mainly invested in working capital to support expected growth.” Second quarter results Sales reached $428.1 million, up 24.2 per cent from $344.8 million a year ago. The wood treating facilities acquired from Boatright Railroad Products, Inc. (Boatright) on May 22, 2014 generated additional sales of $27.3 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, increased the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales by about $38.1 million when compared with last year. Excluding these factors, sales increased approximately $17.9 million, or 5.2 per cent. Railway tie sales amounted to $194.8 million, up 37.7 per cent from $141.5 million last year. Excluding sales from Boatright and the foreign currency conversion effect, railway tie sales rose approximately 6.8 per cent, primarily as a result of adjusted selling prices. Sales of utility poles reached $136.7 million, an increase of 12.4 per cent compared with $121.6 million last year. Factoring out the foreign currency conversion effect, sales increased 2.2 per cent, as a steady rise in sales of distribution poles stemming from regular maintenance projects was partially offset by lower sales of transmission poles due to a decrease in demand for special projects as a result of the weakness in the oil and gas as well as mining industries. Sales of residential lumber totalled $60.9 million, up from $49.4 million last year, reflecting higher sales in the United States due to a healthy economy as well as in Western Canada, mostly as a result of the Company's increasing reach into British Columbia. Industrial product sales were $25.4 million, compared with $25.1 million a year ago, mainly due to the additional contribution of the Boatright assets and the foreign currency conversion effect. Finally, non-pole-quality log sales were $10.4 million, versus $7.2 million last year, due to the timing of timber harvesting. Gross profit reached $84.1 million, or 19.7 per cent of sales, up from $60.1 million, or 17.4 per cent of sales, last year. The increase in absolute dollars essentially stems from higher business activity, the addition of the Boatright assets and the effect of currency translation. As a percentage of sales, gross profit increased mainly as a result of adjusted pricing for railway ties and greater efficiencies throughout the Company's network. As a result of higher gross profit, operating income increased 46.9 per cent to $61.1 million, or 14.3 per cent of sales, versus $41.6 million, or 12.1 per cent of sales, last year. Net income for the second quarter of 2015 increased 35.1 per cent to $38.9 million or $0.56 per share, fully diluted, compared with $28.8 million or $0.42 per share, fully diluted, in the second quarter of 2014. Six-month results For the six-month period ended June 30, 2015, sales amounted to $768.8 million, versus $602.3 million for the corresponding period a year earlier. The Boatright facilities contributed additional sales of approximately $48.4 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar had a positive impact of $67.5 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales increased approximately $50.6 million, or 8.4 per cent. Operating income reached $108.8 million, or 14.2 per cent of sales, up from $76.4 million, or 12.7% of sales, a year ago. Net income totalled $69.0 million, or $1.00 per share, fully diluted, compared with $51.3 million, or $0.74 per share, fully diluted, last year. Financial position As at June 30, 2015, the Company's long-term debt, including the current portion, stood at $538.1 million compared with $517.2 million three months earlier. The increase essentially reflects higher working capital requirements and the effect of local currency translation on U.S. dollar denominated long-term debt. As at June 30, 2015 Stella-Jones' total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.41:1, versus 0.40:1 as at March 31, 2015. Working capital requirements included the normal seasonal increase in accounts receivable as well as higher inventory in anticipation of higher sales going forward and the gradual rebuilding of inventory due to untreated railway tie availability returning to customary levels. Quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share On August 7, 2015, the board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.08 per common share, payable on September 25, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 4, 2015. Outlook “Railway tie demand is expected to remain healthy for the remainder of 2015. With untreated tie availability returning to more appropriate levels, our strong procurement network should continue to provide consistent supply to support inventory rebuilding. In the utility pole market, regular maintenance demand should continue to grow at a steady pace, but lower resource prices have resulted in decreased demand for special projects. Over the mid-term, utility pole demand should improve, as an increasing number of poles are approaching the end of their service life and will need to be replaced. Stella-Jones remains focused on creating shareholder value by optimizing network efficiency and capturing accretive opportunities to further expand its reach in the wood treating industry,” concluded Mr. McManus. Conference call Stella-Jones will hold a conference call to discuss these results on August 7, 2015, at 3:00 p.m., EST. Interested parties can join the call by dialing 647-788-4922 (Toronto or overseas) or 1-877-223-4471 (elsewhere in North America). Parties unable to call in at this time may access a tape recording of the meeting by calling 1-800-585-8367 and entering the passcode 80946196. This tape recording will be available on Friday, August 7, 2015 as of 6:00 PM Eastern Time until 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, August 14, 2015. Non-IFRS financial measures Operating income and cash flow from operating activities before changes in non-cash working capital components and interest and income tax paid are financial measures not prescribed by IFRS and are not likely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Management considers these non-IFRS measures to be useful information to assist knowledgeable investors regarding the Company's financial condition and results of operations as they provide additional measures of its performance. About Stella-Jones Stella-Jones Inc. is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The company supplies North America's railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent's electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also provides residential lumber to retailers and wholesalers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the company's products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, the ability of the company to raise the capital required for acquisitions, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results. Note to readers: Condensed interim unaudited consolidated financial statements for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015 are available on Stella-Jones' website at www.stella-jones.com
July 23, 2015 - Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, on behalf of Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, has announced close to $900,000 through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program to Dynamic Windows and Doors to install an innovative manufacturing process to produce Passivhaus wood windows at its facility in Abbotsford, B.C. Passive houses are valued for their rigorous energy-efficiency standards, which require little energy for space heating and cooling."Today's announcement will further encourage economic competitiveness in Canada's forest sector while helping to create jobs and prosperity for Canadians,” said Fast. “In addition to adding well-paying jobs and supporting the local economy, this project is an important step in fostering the creation of high-value products manufactured here in Abbotsford and across Canada."Dynamic Windows and Doors will develop and be the first to market a made-in-Canada wood passive window system for homeowners seeking highly energy-efficient windows and doors. In addition to helping transition Canada's forest sector toward producing high-value manufactured products, the project will also create 60 direct new jobs that will help the local economy.Support for this project comes from Natural Resources Canada's IFIT program and is designed to support the transformation of Canada's forest sector in becoming more economically competitive and environmentally sustainable. IFIT encourages a broader adoption of new technologies across the industry and supports forest industry innovation by opening the door to a more diversified portfolio of products and markets."This investment is another example of how our government is helping Canada's forest industry bring innovative, high-value products to the marketplace, increasing Canada's global competitiveness and protecting jobs in the local community,” said Rickford.
July 16, 2015 - Uniboard recently announced an investment of more than $7 million at its Mont-Laurier MDF plant. The investment will increase the productivity of the plant through the use of a revolutionary new wood fibre mat-preheating technology. The company stated that the process innovation is a first for North America and will allow Uniboard to better service our customer base in Canada and the U.S. This process technology will continue to position the Mont-Laurier MDF/HDF plant as a North American leader, renowned for its range of industry leading products such as its Excel+, Excel, and NU Green/PMDI-NAF and HDF panel products. It will further strengthen Uniboard's overall network of particleboard, MDF and thermally fused laminate facilities which are located in Sayabec, Val-d'Or, Laval and Mont-Laurier, Quebec. Uniboard employs a workforce of 91 at its Mont-Laurier site and over 800 people within the entire corporation.Since its original start-up as Panfibre in 1987, optimization and product development have been the driving forces of Mont-Laurier MDF's successes. Mont-Laurier's capacity has been expanded in multiple steps over the years. Uniboard's MDF products are the industry reference in terms of quality, machinability and performance in various applications. In 2012, Uniboard further solidified its position in the industry when it was acquired by the owners of Kaycan Ltd., a leading manufacturer of building products in North America, with its head office located in Montreal, Quebec. Kaycan Ltd. and its group of companies offers a full range of products for both the exterior and interior of the home, including vinyl, aluminum and engineered wood siding products, PVC windows & patio doors, particleboard, MDF, thermally fused laminate and laminate flooring."Operational excellence is the foundation of our strategy and process technology innovation is one of the key pillars”, said James N. Hogg, president and CEO of Uniboard Canada Inc. “The announcement of the new preheater today takes us another step forward and allows Uniboard to better service our customers in the North American composite and value-added panel industries. Over recent years, Uniboard has invested heavily into product development, launching new colour collections including WoodPrint Technologyâ, North America's first registered embossed thermally fused laminate panels as well as expanding our successful NU Green range of low and no-formaldehyde products. The announcement in Mont-Laurier today is in line with previous announcements of major investments improving productivity at Uniboard's mills in Sayabec and Val-d'Or, totaling some $90 million of growth investments over the next two (2) years. We greatly appreciate the strong commitment of the owners, the engagement of our employees and the community as well as the financial support of federal government agencies, Natural Resources Canada (NRC) through its Investments in the Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program and Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, all of which have facilitated Uniboard to move forward with this project while securing quality employment in Quebec's Laurentians region.” About Uniboard Uniboard Canada Inc. is a leading North American manufacturer of engineered wood products, with an installed capacity of over 640 million square feet of raw particleboard, high-density and medium-density fiberboard, of which over 50% is converted into value-added thermally fused laminate and laminate flooring products. Uniboard's mills in Val-d'Or, Sayabec, Mont-Laurier and Laval employ over 800 people. Its products are sold to retailers, distributors and finished goods manufacturers, which cater to the kitchen cabinet, furniture, office, home renovation and construction industries, as well as to the floor covering industry. More information is available at: www.uniboard.com. About the Kaycan group of companies Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Kaycan® is a leading vertically integrated manufacturer of vinyl, aluminium and engineered wood siding and accessories, PVC windows, aluminium rainware and coil, particleboard, MDF, thermally fused melamine and laminate flooring, with over 2,000 employees operating 18 manufacturing facilities across North America. The Kaycan group of companies' products are sold throughout the world under the brands of Kaycan®, KP Building Products, KWP, Farley Windows®, Greenview®, Bonneville Solutions® and Uniboard™. More information is available at www.kaycan.com, www.kwpproducts.com, www.kpproducts.com and www.uniboard.com.
July 14, 2015 - Newpro is looking to convert its particleboard facility in Smithers, B.C. into a wood pellet manufacturing plant. The company recently presented its proposal to Smithers Town Council. Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said he was excited about the potential employment the plant could bring, but he is also concerned about local air quality, according to a report from radio station CJFW.FM. Newpro’s particleboard production facility stopped operating in January 2014. "In 2013, the economics of foreign exchange on the particleboard world was such that it didn’t make economic sense to continue to operate the plant," Newport’s Aaron Sinclair told cjfw.ca.Newpro stated that the new wood pellet plant would bring considerable improvement in air quality compared to the particleboard plant. A full consultation report will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment by August 3.
July 2, 2015 – Veneer Services has hired Michael Partridge as a product specialist for Veneer Services/Biomass Engineering & Equipment. He has 36 years of experience in the primary/secondary rotary and sliced production fields, along with 24 years of experience in commercial and industrial plywood production. Partridge has had the opportunity to develop a varied skill and knowledge base in the veneer industry, from raw material purchasing through veneer and finished plywood production, including equipment purchase and design in every phase of the operations. “We’re extremely excited to bring Mike on board,” says Dane Floyd, Veneer Services president. “His experiences and fresh outlook will only push us further out in the forefront of our industry. We know our customers are going to benefit greatly from his expertise. He’s going to become an invaluable member of the Veneer/BE&E team and help us continue to create game-changing products, services and experiences for our customers.”
June 19, 2015 – Stella-Jones Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the shares of Ram Forest Group Inc. and Ramfor Lumber Inc. The signature of a non-binding letter of intent in respect of the proposed acquisition was reported by Stella-Jones on April 29, 2015.
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Webinar - Resource Roads II - Remote sensing and mappingWed Oct 21, 2015 @ 2:00pm - 03:00pm
International Fiber/Wood-Based Panels Conference 2015Wed Nov 11, 2015
November 25: UAVs in resource sectorsWed Nov 25, 2015 @ 2:00pm - 03:00pm
OptiSaw Mill Optimization & Automation ForumWed Dec 02, 2015 @ 8:00am - 04:00pm
Webinar - Biomaterials in the P&P sectorWed Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:00am - 03:00pm
73rd TLA Convention & Trade ShowWed Jan 13, 2016 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm