April 25, 2016 - I am taking this action is a positive affirmation of the strength and unbiased reputation the Challenge has built over the past decade. In large part this move is also a compliment to the quality and reputation of the journalist judges that work so hard each year; making the Truck King Challenge a home-grown success story. Moving forward I will continue to organize, facilitate and run the annual Challenge – but I entrust the judging – and therefore the results solely to the volunteer judges. Of course every result from every year was always an average across the scores of multiple judges; as fair as possible – but, sometimes, there were whispers of bias. My decision to remove myself from the direct judging process should silence those dissenters. Despite my stepping out of the judging role - The Canadian Truck King Challenge will move forward in its mission of giving Canadian truck buyers the best and most real world truck testing results in North America. To reinforce this, we have added two new judges this year: Alan Sidorov of Whistler, B.C. is the chief instructor for the BC Forest Safety Council. He trains drivers for company fleets in the proper use of light trucks and also does extensive tire testing on those same trucks. Sue Mead of Williamstown, Mass. has asked to be part of the Challenge because our testing formula so intrigued her. Mead writes extensively about trucks – and races them. She has competed in Camel Trophy adventures, the Arctic Circle Challenge, the Tip to Tip Challenge and the TransAmerica Challenge. She has competed in the Baja 1000 and the Dakar Rally in South America and Africa.
April 22, 2016 - A logger was killed in an accident near Hope, B.C. on April 13 and the incident is being investigated by WorkSafeBC, the BC Coroners Service and the RCMP, according to a recent article on Castanet.net. According to BC Forest Safety Council, the incident occurred when a guyline on a yarder broke and the tower fell onto the cab, fatally injuring the yarder operator. For the full report, click here.
April 22, 2016 - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and other forest groups around the world welcome the official signing of the United Nations agreement on climate change that was reached late last year in Paris. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among world leaders in New York for the signing ceremony. The global forest products industry has a highly significant role to play in Canada achieving its targets outlined in this deal, says Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC. "Canada's forest products companies have made it clear that we intend to step up to the plate and help in the transition to a low-carbon economy here in Canada and elsewhere around the world.” "The global forest products industry has made significant strides in reducing its carbon footprint, stocking carbon and generating greenhouse gas removals—all helping to mitigate climate change," said president of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations, Elizabeth de Carvalhaes of the Brazilian Tree Industry. The renewable forest sector can contribute to climate change goals in many ways, including sustainable forest management, investing in clean technologies with low-carbon emissions and developing bio-based products to displace goods traditionally made from fossil fuel. The forest industry's role in mitigating climate change was highlighted in a report commissioned by the ICFPA International Climate Change report. Canada's Climate Forum has also released an independent report that shows how the forest industry can be part of the solution to climate change. FPAC will be soon by releasing its plan to show how it intends to help Canada reach its ambitious climate change targets as outlined in the agreement signed in New York. About FPAC FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $65-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.
April 21, 2016 – The amount of carbon stored in tree trunks, branches, leaves and other biomass — what scientists call “aboveground live carbon” — is determined more by timber harvesting than by any other environmental factor in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, according to a report published by researchers at Oregon State University.In forests that are about 150 years old or less, live carbon above the ground is associated primarily with the age of a stand — reflecting how long ago it was harvested — rather than with climate, soil, topography or fire. However, as forests mature into “old growth,” the density of carbon is determined largely by factors other than harvesting.The Pacific Northwest has some of the highest forest-carbon densities in the world. Understanding how much carbon is stored in growing forests is a critical component of international efforts to reduce climate change.Researchers found that air temperatures, sun exposure and soils were also important in driving the variation in live carbon across the region. High-elevation forests tend to be cooler and contain lower amounts of carbon than do low-elevation forests.Researchers conducted the study at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the Cascade Range east of Eugene, Ore. They combined data from two types of measurements: LiDAR (an aerial mapping technique that uses lasers) and ground-based forest inventories in which scientists measured tree growth at 702 forest plots. The study is one of the few to quantify carbon in living forest biomass in mountainous terrain.Harold Zald, research associate in the College of Forestry, is lead author of the paper published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.“Very few studies have looked at above-ground carbon at a landscape scale with the combination of LiDAR and detailed disturbance history (logging and fire) that we have at the H.J. Andrews Forest,” said Zald. “These findings can be applied to the Douglas-fir dominated forests on the west slope of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington.”The researchers found that fire was not a significant driver of carbon density in the H.J. Andrews. In the last century, these forests have experienced little severe “stand replacing fire,” but it’s possible that fire played a significant role in shaping the structure of old-growth forests and increasing carbon density over time. “Remnant old-growth trees resulting from non-stand replacing fires likely enhance the recovery of forest C (carbon) density,” they wrote.The study was conducted by researchers at Oregon State, the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria.About the OSU College of ForestryFor a century, the College of Forestry has been a world class center of teaching, learning and research. It offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sustaining ecosystems, managing forests and manufacturing wood products; conducts basic and applied research on the nature and use of forests; and operates 14,000 acres of college forests.
April 21, 2016 - The risk for forest fires in Alberta and Saskatchewan have already reached extreme levels, according to a recent article by The Canadian Press. The latest fire danger map from Natural Resources Canada shows the majority of the two provinces covered in red (extreme risk), orange (very high risk) and yellow swaths (high risk). Kerry Anderson, a Natural Resources Canada fire research scientist, stated that the high levels are due to unusually warm temperatures that have melted the snow away faster than normal. To read the full article, click here.
April 20 ,2016 - The wildfire season this year in British Columbia has begun in a hurry with 132 fire starts and more than 10,000 hectares already burned, according to a report in The Globe and Mail. The article states that 50 of the fires to date have taken place in the Prince George Fire Centre, accounting for more than 9,000 hectares burned. To read the full article, click here. To learn more about wildfire strategies in Western Canada taken from lessons learned in 2015, click here.
April 18, 2016 — John Deere made headlines with the introduction of the G-Series harvesters to the European market in 2015, and the new series models are now available to loggers in North America. Designed for final felling and late thinning, the John Deere 1270G and 1470G harvesters combine high productivity with excellent fuel economy. “Designed based on customer feedback, the updated G-Series harvesters build upon the popular features of previous models to create a powerful and efficient machine, ideal for all types of terrains. The new machines boast increased power, torque and tractive force, as well as upgrades to the controls, improving efficiency,” said Keith Berger, wheeled cut-to-length forestry instructor. “When utilizing the ForestSight suite of offerings and partnering with a John Deere dealer for support, the G-Series machines help customers optimize their job site with a productive and reliable logging solution.” As a key feature of the G-Series, standard processing power control (PPC) optimizes fuel efficiency by matching the appropriate processing level to the work conditions and size of the tree. Simply select Energy Saving, Normal or Boost Mode, and PPC does the rest of the work. The PPC system anticipates the engine load and responds with the right power increase, thus improving the fuel economy. Additionally, an advanced twin-pump hydraulic system ensures ample power for smooth, simultaneous operation and maximum control of the boom and harvester head. This feature ensures sufficient grip on the trunk of the tree and increases productivity without taxing the operator. The G-Series machines feature the new TimberMatic H-16 control system, providing increased processing capacity. The new user-friendly system, control modules and wiring harnesses enhance machine performance and precision. The TimberMatic H-16 control system is a comprehensive package for basic machine control, measuring and bucking, allowing the operator to work faster and easier. Another key feature of the G-Series machines is the redesigned cab, which offers operators a comfortable and ergonomic work environment. Available with either a rotating and levelling option or fixed cab option, both feature large windows for excellent visibility in every direction. Ergonomically designed seats, along with air conditioning and heating, increase cab comfort and reduce operator fatigue, enabling operators to be more productive for longer. “At John Deere, our goal is to offer products and solutions that give our customers the best possible performance and productivity,” said Sakari Suuriniemi, product marketing manager for John Deere. “The G-Series wheeled harvesters have proven successful among loggers in Europe and will be a great addition to John Deere’s wide portfolio of equipment to meet the business needs of our customers in North America as well.” 1270G harvester Available with six or eight wheels, the 1270G harvester offers the power of its predecessor, while improving fuel economy. Both the six-wheel and eight-wheel models are equipped with a John Deere 9.0L Tier 3 engine. The six-wheel model features an increase in power, now boasting 190 kilowatts (255 horsepower), and an 11 per cent increase in torque compared to previous models. The eight-wheel 1270G harvesters are designed for steep slopes and soft terrain. Equipped with eight-wheel drive, it offers excellent traction and stability. The 1270G machines are available with the CH7 boom. Additionally, operators can choose from multiple harvester heads, including the H754, H413, H414, H270 Series II, H480C and H415. 1470G harvester The 1470G harvester, John Deere’s largest harvester model, includes the same features and benefits of the smaller 1270G. One notable design feature is the high ground clearance, making the 1470G harvesters ideal for difficult terrain conditions. Like the 1270G model, the 1470G is equipped with a John Deere 9.0L Tier 3 engine. A key feature is the powerful CH9 boom. When combined with the H415 harvester head, the 1470G harvesters are transformed into a strong and productive package. Due to the stability of the 1470G, the boom works efficiently even when fully extended. The CH9 boom’s slewing cylinders are positioned parallel to the harvester’s frame, improving the hosing and cabling. Additionally, forward visibility is excellent and wear and tear is minimized. Serviceability is also improved by the placement of the valve assembly. The CH9 boom is available in three reach options: 8.6 metres (28.2 feet), 10 metres (32.8 feet) and 11 metres (36.1 feet), with 225 kilonewtons (166,000 pound-foot) lifting torque. The robust and simple structure of the boom makes it reliable for handling big trees. Additionally, a variety of harvester heads, including the H415, H480C, H270 Series II and H290, are compatible with the machine. The G-Series harvesters come standard with the JDLink machine monitoring system and remote diagnostics. As a part of the ForestSight package, these customer-driven technology solutions bring the machine, job site and John Deere dealer together to help loggers better manage their equipment and operations. To learn more, visit http://www.johndeere.com or contact your local John Deere dealer. About Deere & Company Deere & Company is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.
April 18, 2016 - For two years Groupe de Scieries (GDS), one of the largest family businesses in the processing of forest products from the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé area, has been harvesting timber on Anticosti Island in Quebec to help stabilize its supply to its sawmills in the Gaspé Peninsula, which have an annual consumption of 600,000 m3 of logs.
April 15, 2016 - Conifex Timber Inc. announced that it has completed a timber harvesting cooperation agreement with Dunkley Lumber Ltd. to conduct coordinated joint timber harvesting operations on certain portions of Conifex’s harvesting areas in the Mackenzie Timber Supply Area. Conifex believes that the coordinated harvesting operations will enhance fibre optimization between the two companies, improve supply chain efficiencies, and contribute to more stable harvest levels in the Mackenzie Timber Supply Area. Conifex also believes that this innovative arrangement with Dunkley can provide additional volumes of affordable feedstock to its power generation unit at Mackenzie through increased utilization of lower quality wood and harvest residuals.
April 15, 2016 – Volvo Trucks presented its lineup of 2017 powertrain upgrades to help kick off the 2016 Truck World Show at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont.
April 12, 2016 - A recent outbreak of the spruce beetle population in Northern B.C. is presenting new challenges—and headaches—for stakeholders in the region.
April 11, 2016 - We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the state of the Canadian logging contractor, and it sounds like a tough world out there. But no one has the numbers to really say, and contractors have been unable to benchmark themselves against other contractors in their region, or across the country.
April 30, 2016 - The B.C. Saw Filers Association’s annual convention and trade show focused on innovation, safety and education. The convention saw more than 220 people come out to the Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre in Kamloops, B.C. to check out the latest technologies for the filing room. The first day of the convention offered attendees a firsthand look at products like BGR Saws’ new SawControl 800V2, which offers features such as quad-view technology from four simultaneous cameras, a wide variety of saw information accesible via smartphone, and S.A.M.; the company’s unique saw blade automatic measuring software; and Williams & White’s fully programmable Auto Stretcher 36X2, which stores more than 100 saw profiles. The second day of the convention offered attendees sessions on combustible dust, quality control, new sawmill technology, V-top saw teeth and an update on the Saw Filer Program run by Industry Training Authority B.C. (ITA). Vince Strain, senior regional officer for WorkSafe BC, reminded attendees that all sawmill operations in the province will face at least one combustible dust management inspection in 2016. Strain also mentioned that WorkSafe’s next steps related to dust management will include expanding beyond the sawmill sector into shake and shingle, pulp mills, wood pellet and OSB plants, and finger joint and reman operations. The inspection approach will have a continued focus on dust mitigation and controls with an emphasis on audit and review. Strain told the crowd that mill employees need to be vigilant in their efforts to minimize combustible dust hazards. “A program is only as good as the people participating in that program,” he said. “The people that do the work know best on how to manage the issues.”The next BC Saw Filers Convention will take place on April 28-29, 2017 in Kamloops, B.C.Latest articles on saw filing:Saw filers: The next generation Saw filing 101: Washboarding Saw filing 101: Saw tension A cut above
April 26, 2016 - When OptiSaw West comes to Richmond, B.C. on June 14, mill managers will have the opportunity to take in two presentations focused on getting the most out of their drying operations: Radio frequency continuous re-drying process Join FPInnovations’ Vincent Lavoie as he discusses this concept and their trials combining RF technology with a streamlined process to identify and re-dry wets. Avoid over-drying at the main kilns or excess handling of wets with this single-board approach. Continuous and progressive drying for large-scale sawmills This presentation will describe the advantages of continuous and progressive drying for large-scale softwood sawmills. It will offer a case study on a sawmill focusing on the issues and opportunities the technology was installed to address at the mill, as well as discuss challenges and results to date. Seats are limited and early bird ends soon!
April 26, 2016 - Tom Bishop of the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) sat down with Canadian Forest Industries to answer some of the frequently asked questions related to repairing and replacing energy-efficient motors: How difficult is it to repair fabricated AC squirrel cage rotors - this type of failure was identified as not economically repairable? In general, squirrel cage rotor rebuilding (rebarring) is a labor-intensive process. Die cast bars are usually removed in a chemical process; and fabricated bars are manually removed one at a time. Sometimes the thin steel disc laminations must be disassembled in order to remove the rotor bars. Therefore, this labor-intensive repair activity is not usually economically justified unless the motor is relatively large or has special features. When discussing the repair versus replacement issue, we frequently do not have the efficiency of the older motor. For large horsepower motors, the difference is not that large between old motors and current high efficiency motors. Is there a source to help estimate the efficiency of the older motors? Small and medium motors manufactured prior to the high efficiency regulations rarely had efficiency levels on their nameplates. Further, the methods for testing of motor efficiency were refined in the era beginning with high efficiency motors. What this all means is that even if a pre-high efficiency motor rated efficiency were known, the level of accuracy would be questionable. A more practical but partially after-the-fact approach to assessing the impact on energy consumption would be to measure the motor power input for a specific load prior to replacement, and measure the power input after the replacement motor is installed. That would provide a direct comparison of energy consumption for a specific application. What test should be done to a motor to assure nameplate efficiency after repair? If the as-manufactured no load power input (no load watts) for the motor is known, the post-repair value can be compared to it. However, the as-manufactured power input is not often available from many manufacturers. A more practical method is to follow known good practices that include testing at key decision points during repair, which is the approach used in the EASA Accreditation Program for service centres. How do you know the efficiency in an old motor if it does not have a nameplate? If the motor does not have a nameplate it may be possible to locate identifying information, such as a serial number stamped into the frame or shaft, that can be traced back to the original information if the motor manufacturer is known. However, that is rarely the case. Thus, in general, if the motor lacks a nameplate the efficiency cannot be estimated. Further, it may not be possible to accurately determine the motor power, voltage and current ratings. Can the efficiency classification of a motor be increased by rewinding?Although efficiency may be improved by rewinding, an increase great enough to result in a pre-high efficiency motor becoming high efficiency, or a high efficiency motor becoming NEMA Premium would not be possible. Of the total losses in a motor, how much relates to rewinding? The losses directly affected by the rewinding process are stator winding copper and core losses. Stator copper losses are typically about 35 to 40 per cent of total losses; and stator core losses are typically about 10 to 15 per cent of total losses. Together they are about 50 to 55 per cent of total losses. Should there be a concern about the difference in speed rating of a higher efficiency motor compared to an older motor?The more efficient motor will typically have a higher full load speed rating; and if the application is a fan or a pump, the power requirement changes by the cube of the speed. For example, if a 1,725 rpm pump motor was replaced by a NEMA Premiummotor rated 1,790 rpm, the required power would be about 12 per cent greater [(1790/1725)3 = 1.12 12%]. Click here to read Tom Bishop’s feature article discussing whether to repair or replace energy-efficient motors.
April 26, 2016 – The Fornebu Lumber Company, based in Bathurst, N.B., needed a reliable material handler to keep up with the seasonal peaks of their business. When Fornebu bought a second Sennebogen this year, they gained 50 per cent more material handling capacity without increasing the number of machines in their fleet. On a busy day, 100 trucks can pull into the Fornebu Lumber yard with thousands of 9’ (2.7 m) logs to be unloaded. Truckers will pace around, checking their watches hoping to be unloaded as quickly as possible in order to get another load, while at the same time, the saw line was spitting out framing lumber at 700 to 800 feet (213.4 to 243.8 m) per minute, hungry for more logs. On the other side of these unrelenting demands, Fornebu originally had four wheel loaders and three material handlers. They were good machines, but even a small problem with them cost Fornebu a lot in terms of downtime and lost productivity. Everything required a service call, and replacement parts weren’t easy to come by. The question of how to keep up the pace caused Michael Godin, general manager of Fornebu Lumber, many sleepless nights. Soon after joining Fornebu three years ago, Godin put a plan in place to replace the aging equipment in the fleet. When he began the RFP process, Sennebogen was an after-thought because he wasn’t familiar with the brand. But during the demo-phase, the Sennebogen 830 material handler went from last to first on Godin’s list. The more he learned from Strongco about the machine’s easy-maintenance design, its robust reliability and safety, the higher it rose in his estimation. Godin says his strong mechanical background helped him assess the structural integrity of the machines as well as the relative ease of maintenance. “The way they designed the machine, it’s very, very tough,” he says. Godin purchased the Sennebogen 830 M-HD S in 2013, and couldn’t be happier with its performance so far. “I recommend Sennebogen material handlers to everyone,” says Godin. “When we brought the Sennebogen on line, our costs went down. Our downtime was reduced. We save time. We save money, plus we are more efficient in the yard.” Godin was so impressed with the quality and reliability of the 830 that he bought a second one. It is a purpose-built 830 M-T wheeled material handler equipped with a logging grapple. The new machine has all the advantages of the first one, including an attachment capacity that’s 50 per cent larger than the material handler it replaced. The 830 M-T can handle 1.5 cords of wood in one scoop, requiring more power and more stability. The 830 M-T has no trouble stacking 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) loads higher than the other machines he compared it to. By stacking the piles even a few feet higher, Fornebu can get the most use out of its 15 acre (6 hectare) lumber yard. With its investment in a Sennebogen 830 M-T, Fornebu has 50 per cent more unloading capacity. That means 50 per cent faster unloading and 100 per cent happier truckers, says Godin. Godin also noted that the 830 M-T material handler has “a lot more power,” partially due to its dual transmissions. Operators use the 830 M-T to haul a trailer filled with 22 cords of wood over muddy, uneven ground. “It’s easier to haul wood with the new Sennebogen,” he says. “When we go up the hill, we can feel the difference. You can even speed up if you want as you go up hill.” About Sennebogen Sennebogen has been a leading name in the global material handling industry for over 60 years. Based in Stanley, North Carolina, within the greater Charlotte region, Sennebogen LLC offers a complete range of purpose-built machines to suit virtually any material handling application. Established in America in the year 2000, Sennebogen LLC has quickly become a leading provider of specialized equipment solutions for recycling and scrap metal yards, demolition, barge and port operations, log-handling, transfer stations and waste facilities from coast to coast. A growing network of distributors supports Sennebogen LLC sales and service across the Americas, ensuring the highest standard of professional machine support and parts availability. www.sennebogen-na.com
April 26, 2016 - Nine southern pine sawmills – all members of the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) – are recent recipients of the 2015 Sawmill Safety Award. SFPA lumber manufacturer members are considered for the award based on information submitted regarding occupational injuries and illnesses. Safety performance is judged by how each mill’s safety record stacks up against facilities with comparable lumber output throughout the year. Division I includes sawmills that produce 50 million board feet or less; Division II covers facilities that produce 51 to 150 million board feet; and Division III includes mills that produce more than 150 million board feet annually. The nine sawmills being honoured for outstanding safety records during 2015: Division I Ray White Lumber Company – Sparkman, Arkansas Weyerhaeuser Company – Zwolle, Louisiana Division II Deltic Timber Corporation – Ola, Arkansas Interfor US Inc. – Eatonton, Georgia and Swainsboro, Georgia Weyerhaeuser Company – Millport, Alabama Division III Weyerhaeuser Company – Idabel, Oklahoma; McComb, Mississippi; Bruce, Mississippi “All nine mills receiving the award for 2015 recorded perfect safety records, with zero lost-time accidents or injuries,” said SFPA executive director Tami Kessler. “We commend these companies that excel at making safety in the workplace a top priority.”
April 25, 2016 - As competitive pressure builds, and cost reduction and process optimization pressures take hold, sawmill operators are searching for a sustainable and lasting competitive advantage. At OptiSaw West, automation and robotics guru David McPhail will explore the benefits and concepts surrounding data-driven manufacturing and how these concepts can be applied to the wood processing industry. This presentation will include how the next gen of technology in David's field can help sawmillers deal with the dual issues of labour constraints and unit cost as well as offer a few examples of these concepts put into place in Canada's manufacturing sector. As president and CEO of MEMEX (Measuring Manufacturing Excellence), David has worked with manufacturers in a wide variety of sectors to drive performance and efficiency gains. He'll share that unique perspective with the sawmill sector in Richmond on June 14.Seats are limited and early bird ends soon!
April 25, 2016 - Austrian Hasslacher has invested in two progressive kilns from Swedish Valutec for its laminated wood plant in Sachsenburg, Kärnten, Austria. “We need to increase the drying capacity and drying quality in terms of precision in the moisture content and reduced cracking. Valutec offered the best complete solution,” says Michael Fercher, technical manager for Hasslacher. Hasslacher is a family-owned sawmill group with seven plants in three countries. In connection with this investment, they are increasing their capacity in Sachsenburg, one of Europe's most modern laminated wood plants, from about 320,000 m3 to more than 400,000 m3 per year. “Hasslacher focuses extensively on quality and our consistent quality thinking in everything from building material to drying control was one of the main reasons that they chose us,” says Robert Larsson, CEO of Valutec. The kilns from Valutec will be solely used to dry center cut timber down to a 12 per cent final moisture content. “Our new generation of progressive kilns is well suited to Hasslacher's needs as they combine high capacity with perfect quality and are best suited to the drying of the dimensions and package sizes that Hasslacher has,” says Larsson. The progressive kilns, which are made of stainless steel, will be equipped with pressure frames for minimal deformation of the top timber layer, as well as Valutec's system for heat recovery. The delivery also includes the Valmatic control system. The kilns will be delivered and assembled in the spring and summer and commissioned in the middle of September 2016. The progressive kiln technology is still relatively unknown in Central Europe, but in recent years, Valutec has made a number of successful deliveries of progressive kilns to these countries. “The higher demand for our progressive kilns is based on a combination of a deliberate effort for our part at the same time that sawmills in Central Europe have begun to become more and more aware of quality and set more stringent requirements on their suppliers,” says Larsson. Leading up to the choice of supplier, Hasslacher visited several plants to evaluate both Valutec and the other suppliers of timber kilns. “All of the Valutec plants were characterized by production running smoothly at the same time that the users were very positive. This is why Valutec feels like a safe choice as our supplier,” concluded Fercher.
April 25, 2016 - Join Canadian Forest Industries' director of content Scott Jamieson as he offers a sneak peek at the first national survey of logging contractors conducted in over 15 years. Compare how contractors on the B.C. Coast and Interior are faring versus their colleagues across Canada, learn what the succession plan looks like over the next five years, discover which variables lead to better financial performance and job satisfaction among your contractors, ask your own questions or add comments and suggestions to the study itself. Otherwise, wait until August for the results like everyone else.For more information on the OptiSaw agenda, click here.
April 21, 2016 - The J.D. Irving group of companies has signed on as a premier sponsor of the 2016 Skills Canada National Competition to be held in Moncton, N.B., on June 5-8. This event is Canada's only national, multi-trade and technology event for skilled trade and technology students and apprentices. J.D. Irving companies will be providing lumber and hardware tools and accessories for numerous competition areas at SCNC through Kent Building Supplies. They will also provide shipping services within the province from various colleges to the competition through Midland transport at no charge. “The contribution by the J.D. Irving group of companies is going to greatly assist us in having a successful Skills Canada National Competition. This event is a great opportunity for industry partners to meet the youth that will be tomorrow's workforce and inform them of the many career opportunities that will be available to them," says Shaun Thorson, CEO, Skills/Compétences Canada. From June 5-8, industry, government, labour representatives, educators and youth will gather in Moncton, where more than 550 secondary and post-secondary students will compete in more than 40 skilled trade and technology contests. It is an important event that attracts young career-seekers, and helps showcase the many opportunities available in the skilled trade and technology sectors. “J.D. Irving Ltd. is proud to sponsor the Skills/Compétences Canada 2016 National Competition. We value the significant contributions of our skilled trades and technical employees. They help keep our operations running smoothly every day," said Robert K. Irving, co-chief executive officer of J.D. Irving. “Showcasing the variety of skilled trades to our young people is critical to ensure the continued development of our workforce.” Headquartered in New Brunswick, J.D. Irving has operations in Canada and the United States, with business units in agriculture, construction and equipment, consumer products, food, forestry and forestry products, shipbuilding and industrial fabrication, transportation and logistics.
April 20, 2016 - When OptiSaw West takes the stage on June 14 in Vancouver, several of the latest trends in sawmill scanning and optimization will be front and centre. Profiling at log breakdown Attendees will hear how the addition of profiling systems at primary and secondary breakdown can improve mill margins, and will be walked through a case study of this approach in action. Auto log and lumber grading closes optimization loop A technology developed in Scandinavia but now being implemented in North America, this approach includes multi-directional x-ray scanning, vision scanners, lasers and tracheid. By tracing boards back to individual logs, mills can verify optimization outcomes and close the loop in process control. Case studies and upcoming North American projects will be discussed. Seats are limited and early bird ends soon!
April 19, 2016 - Most plant engineers and maintenance staff can attest to the reliability of standard-efficiency motors that have been repaired or rewound using industry best practices. They also know repair can cost far less than replacement, especially when the motor has special features. Despite this, some of them hesitate to have failed energy-efficient motors (NEMA Premium models, in particular) repaired because they’ve heard it degrades efficiency.
April 18, 2016 - Gap control is the one of the most critical items to control in a sawmill. It determines how accurate your cuts are, and the quality of your lumber. Having gap control means maintaining that perfect 0.0015” gap between the saw blade and the babbitt pad of the sawguide. I have always looked at sawguide accuracy as one of the top five ways of maintaining a perfect gap.
April 15, 2016 – Salmon Arm councilors have backed a recommendation to provide some tax support for Canoe Forest Products.
April 1, 2016 - Boise Cascade Company recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific LLC's engineered lumber production facilities located at Thorsby, Ala. and Roxboro, N.C. for $215 million including closing date estimated working capital of $25 million which is subject to final adjustment. The company used $90 million of its cash and $130 million in new borrowing to pay for the transaction and closing-related expenses. "We are pleased to welcome the 270 employees at Thorsby and Roxboro, along with the commercial sales team supporting those facilities, to the Boise Cascade family," said Tom Corrick, CEO of Boise Cascade. "The acquired engineered lumber capacity fits well into our current production facilities and will help us optimize production across our entire system and expedite delivery to our customers across the southeastern United States. With this acquisition, we will have engineered lumber facilities strategically placed throughout our North American markets and be able to provide product to our customers as the housing market continues to recover." Boise Cascade currently has engineered lumber (also called engineered wood products) facilities in St. Jacques, N.B., White City, Ore. and Alexandria, La. The Thorsby facility produces laminated veneer lumber (LVL) while the Roxboro facility currently produces I-joists. Roxboro's LVL production assets are currently idled. Boise Cascade expects to invest capital and hire additional employees to increase production at these mills in 2016 and beyond to obtain significant logistics benefits as well as to meet expected growth in new residential construction. The company believes the addition of Thorsby and Roxboro will increase LVL billet capacity by 9 million cubic feet and I-joist capacity by 80 million lineal feet and expects the acquisition to add approximately $40 million to the company's mid-cycle EBITDA. About Boise Cascade Boise Cascade is one of the largest producers of plywood and engineered wood products in North America and a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products. For more information, please visit our website at www.bc.com. Forward-looking statements This news release contains statements that are "forward looking" within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release. While they are based on the current expectations and beliefs of management, they are subject to a number of uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ from the expectations expressed in this release.
March 17, 2016 — Canoe Forest Products can confirm a discharge of potentially contaminated water has occurred at the company’s plywood plant in Canoe, B.C. “We have established the origin of the water leak that led to this discharge, and repaired the leak,” said Marcello Angelozzi, Canoe FP’s operations manager. “There is no longer any water being discharged from the plant. We are now working with provincial and federal agencies to determine what, if any, impacts there are as a result of this incident.” On March 7, there was evidence of a water leak with accumulations of water in the glue room pit (where the glue used in making plywood sheets is collected). While the leak was being investigated, the increased volume of water was pumped out of the glue pit to collection vats outside. It appears some of the water may have escaped and possibly entered the Shuswap Lake shoreline. Reports, however, that “thousands of litres” reached the lake are inaccurate. “We take responsibility for this accident, and we will work with the proper agencies to ensure impacts are minimized,” said Angelozzi. The initial problem was traced back to a plumbing leak in the mill. It has since been repaired. The area of discharge has been contained, and will be remediated as necessary. Officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Conservation Officer Service were on site yesterday. Canoe Forest Products is working with them and Interior Health to assess the risk and determine next steps. At no time was there any risk to employee safety. Canoe Forest Products regrets any impacts, however temporary, on the people of Salmon Arm, and applauds Interior Health and the City of Salmon Arm in taking the extraordinary precautions they did to ensure any possible public health impacts were minimized. The situation is being closely monitored and updates will be made available to the media on a regular basis and posted at www.canoefp.com.
March 14, 2016 - According to a recent report from CBC, Al Johnson, vice-president of prevention field services for WorkSafeBC stated that the fire and explosion that took place on March 9 at West Fraser’s MDF mill in Quesnel, B.C could have been “catastrophic and deadly.” Johnson told reports that wood dust has not been ruled out as a possible reason for the explosion but no conclusions have been drawn as of yet. To read the full article, click here.
March 11, 2016 - According to a recent report by The Globe and Mail, WorkSafeBC stated that completing the investigation into the fire and explosion at West Fraser’s West Pine MDF mill in the Cariboo community in Quesnel, B.C could take months. The fire and explosion at the medium density fibreboard plant took place on March 9. No workers were injured in the blast. To read the full article, click here.
February 18, 2016 - Norbord Inc. today announced that its shares have been authorized for listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Norbord expects its shares to begin trading on the NYSE on February 19, 2016 under the symbol "OSB". The company will retain its primary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), but is changing its ticker symbol on the TSX to "OSB", effective Feb. 19, 2016. In connection with its application to list on the NYSE, Norbord filed a registration statement on Form 40-F with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of Norbord's Form 40-F is available at www.sec.gov. 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 US$1.6 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 TSX and will soon be listed on the NYSE under the symbol OSB. This news release contains forward-looking statements, as defined by applicable securities legislation, including statements regarding listing of the shares on the NYSE and the related symbol change on the TSX. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of 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 included in this news release include the risk that the timing of the listing and/or symbol change could be modified and the possibility that the listing may not occur as planned. Except as required by applicable law, Norbord does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by, or on behalf of, the Company, 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, 2016 Annual Information Form and the cautionary statement contained in the "Forward-Looking Statements" section of the 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated January 27, 2016.Source: Norbord Inc.
January 19, 2016 - Norbord Inc. announced that the Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks has terminated the wood license associated with its curtailed Val-d'Or, Quebec OSB mill. Production at the Val-d'Or mill was indefinitely suspended in 2012 following persistently weak North American housing market conditions and lower demand for OSB. This development is not expected to have any impact on the company's financial results. "This is disappointing news, but in the bigger picture, we firmly believe that our Val-d'Or mill is the best alternative for the aspen pulpwood in that region," said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord's president and CEO. "Unfortunately, market conditions do not yet justify a restart at Val-d'Or, but we are exploring options for the mill and are committed to a restart once market conditions are supportive. The Ministry has confirmed we can reapply for a wood license when we are ready to restart the mill." Norbord is the world's largest OSB producer and continues to operate in the Abitibi region at its La Sarre, Que. OSB mill. Since 2012, the company has invested and committed capital in excess of US$35 million to optimize that mill's capacity and ensure its long-term competitiveness. About Norbord 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 Q3 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated October 29, 2015. Source: Norbord Inc.
December 17, 2015 – In the first half of 2015 Alberta’s forest sector began to slow, but remains stable. Values of lumber, pulp and paper, and panelboard manufactured by Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) members totalled $750 million in the first quarter of 2015 and $718 million in the second quarter. The numbers reflect a 4.4 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2014, followed by a year-over-year decline of 1.3 per cent in the second quarter. "Our industry has many opportunities that bode well for the future," said AFPA president and CEO Paul Whittaker. “We have seen an increase in the generation of green power, development of markets abroad, and the use of cutting-edge technology in facilities.” Whittaker noted that despite some positive news, the industry also faces a number of challenges, including the expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the United States, the mountain pine beetle, and a slowing economy in Canada. “Some of these challenges are certainly contributing to slower growth in the sector,” he said. “Now, more than ever, it is important for the forestry sector, government, and communities to work closely together to ensure that the forest industry remains a vital contributor to Alberta.” Alberta’s forest industry is a significant contributor to 70 Alberta communities. About 15,000 Albertans work in the industry and an additional 30,000 are employed through economic activities generated by the sector. The industry has invested in future sustainability through market diversification initiatives and capital projects. These include an increased focus on Asian market development and investments to generate electricity from renewable forestry biomass. 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.
December 10, 2015 - Arauco recently announced it has agreed to purchase 50 per cent of the shares of Spanish company Tafisa, which represents a US$150 million investment. With this purchase, Arauco enters the European and South African markets. Tafisa owns 10 panel mills that are distributed in Spain, Portugal, Germany and South Africa. Combined, these production facilities employ 3,000 people and produce a total of 4.2 million m3 of panels. This company is currently a subsidiary of Portuguese group Sonae. Once the transaction is complete, the new company will be called Sonae-Arauco. The corporation in which Arauco will participate, which has estimated annual sales for US$ 900 million, produces and sells OSB, MDF, and PB panels, as well as sawn timber. Arauco will operate two panel mills and one saw mill in Spain; two panel mills and one resin facility in Portugal; four panel mills in Germany and two in South Africa. Sonae-Arauco’s production capacity will be about 460,000 m3 of OSB, 1.45 million m3 of MDF, 2.27 million m3 of PB and 100,000 m3 of sawn timber. This investment will rank Arauco as the second producer in the wood panel global ranking, with an annual production of 9 million m3, which includes 50 per cent of Tafisa’s production. Matías Domeyko, Arauco’s CEO, said this action “aligned with positioning Arauco as a global company that is present in the world and embracing new challenges. This is also a very good opportunity to diversify geographically in relevant markets, with good perspectives.” Evolution of Arauco’s panel business Arauco has achieved a sustained increase in terms of production in the panel business, mainly due to the expansion toward Argentina and Brazil in past decades, and the acquisitions, in 2012, of production facilities located in the United States and Canada. This increase has positioned the company as one of the primary producers at the global level, with a combined production capacity of 6.6 million m3 in its 16 facilities. In addition, Arauco has plans to build a new panel mill in Michigan, which will have an annual production capacity of 750,000 m3. Construction work for this facility is expected to begin in 2016. Sales of the wood panel business in 2014 were US$1.851 million.
November 20, 2015 - Luxor Industrial Corporation (Luxor) announced that its Canadian framing division, Mill Frame Inc. (MF Inc.) has signed its first contract with Quantum Place Developments Ltd. of Alberta. (http://quantumplace.ca/) The contract for the Raven Rock project located in Canmore, Alta. is in excess of $1 million. MF Inc. is the exclusive framer for Quantum Place Development Ltd. In addition to providing framing, MF Inc. will be supplying pre-fabricated wall panels and precision cut engineered wood floor systems for the project commencing in November, 2015. In the forward period, MF Inc. has several million dollars in letters of intent and signed off quotation sheets. The company will advise details as contracts are signed. On November 5, 2015, Luxor announced that it had entered into two non-binding letters of intent to acquire the wood framing businesses of Colt Builders Inc. in Canada and Mill Frame LLC (www.Millframe.com) of the United States. Such businesses are involved in the turnkey framing of housing projects in Canada and the United States. Terry Lashman, CEO of Luxor advises, "All parties are fast tracking the closing of the acquisitions as well as expansion to the western United States. We anticipate significant growth for Luxor from these acquisitions and we are extremely pleased with the working relationship with the new members of the management team." About Luxor Industrial Corporation Luxor is involved in the development, engineering, manufacturing and marketing of engineered wood products and operates in three sectors. In the industrial sector, it manufacturers wood mat products for various applications including transmission lines, pipelines, wind farms, staging areas, boardwalks and pathways and oil and gas and mining operations. In residential construction, it manufactures and markets its patented IBS 2000® and patent pending IBS3000 engineered floor bridging. Luxor has spent years analyzing wood-frame flo construction, establishing itself as a leading authority in wood floor performance engineering. Luxor also manufactures and markets other building components, architectural wood products and offers various custom wood cutting services. In the commercial sector it distributes and designs engineered wood products (laminated beams) for use in large wood structures. This news release contains forward-looking information that involve various risks and uncertainties regarding future events. Such forward-looking information can include without limitation statements based on current expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance of Luxor, such as statements that the company may enter into and close the definitive agreements as contemplated and that the company may raise financing to fund the development of the acquired businesses. There are numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and Luxor's plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information, including: (i) adverse market conditions; (ii) the inability of Luxor to raise funds to execute on its business plan with respect to the recently acquired wood framing businesses; (iii) the Exchange not approving the transactions; or (iv) the inability to close the transactions for any reason. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Except as required by law, Luxor does not intend to update these forward-looking statements. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
November 18, 2015 - Canada Wood Group (CWG) announced that effective immediately, Scott Ellinger has been appointed Canada Wood China managing director. He will work out of the Shanghai office. Ellinger served in prominent positions throughout a 22-year decorated career in the U.S. Army. This included a term as a Sino-Affairs expert for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as various U.S. Embassy and consular office roles held overseas. Ellinger also worked for two private sector companies providing strategic management and guidance to their Asian operations. As the new managing director, Mr. Ellinger will further strengthen Canada Wood's efforts in the People's Republic of China. Ellinger has resided in numerous Asian locations for the past 17 years including Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and various cities in Korea and Japan. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Korean and brings to the position knowledge of Chinese customs and business practices combined with expertise in people management and strategic development. Ellinger will be travelling to Canada in early 2016 for orientation and to meet funders and industry stakeholders. About Canada Wood Group Established in 2003, CWG is a non-profit government and industry funded trade association that represents nine wood product associations located across Canada. With offices in China, Europe, Japan, Korea, India and a head office in Canada, CWG helps Canadian wood products manufacturers diversify and expand export opportunities in traditional and emerging markets.Source: Canada Wood Group
April 29, 2016 - Stella-Jones Inc. has announced its director election results following its annual meeting of shareholders
April 28, 2016 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced strong financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016 thanks to solid growth in sales in the railway tie market.
March 16, 2016 – For the fifteenth year in a row, Stella-Jones Inc. has grown its net income. That announcement came as part of the company’s release of its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.
February 16, 2016 - Luxor Industrial Corporation recently announced the closing of two definitive agreements providing for Luxor’s acquisition of two wood framing businesses in Canada and the U.S. In the United States, Luxor has purchased all of the equity interest of Mill Frame LLC, a Washington State limited liability company. Luxor is required to issue five million common shares of Luxor upon Mill Frame LLC generating $10 million in net sales and a further five million common shares of Luxor upon Mill Frame LLC generating an additional $10 million in net sales ($20 million in the aggregate). In the past 45 days, Luxor has announced three contracts secured by Mill Frame LLC that have a total value in excess of US $ 5,000,000 or CDN $ 7,000,000. “In the summer of 2015, I approached Luxor as a supplier of pre-fab walls; 10 years ago when the exchange rate was similar we had done some great wood business together in the U.S.,” stated Steve Conboy, president of Mill Frame. “This time I saw an opportunity to sell turnkey framing to U.S. builders and took a longer term view to partner up with Luxor. I am proud to join Luxor and its group of seasoned veterans.” In Canada, Luxor has purchased the book business and certain assets of Colt Builders Inc. of Alberta through Luxor’s subsidiary Mill Frame Inc. (Newco) which has acquired such assets for 40 per cent of the shares of Newco. Colt has agreed that it will exchange 20 per cent of its Newco shares in consideration for the issuance of 5 million common shares of Luxor upon Newco generating $10 million in net sales and will exchange the remaining 20 per cent of its Newco shares to Luxor in consideration for the issuance of an additional 5 million common shares of Luxor upon Newco generating an additional $10 million in net sales ($20 million in the aggregate). Upon achieving the milestones, Luxor will have the right to 100 per cent ownership of Newco shares. Closing of the acquisitions was not conditional upon financing, however, Luxor will be required to provide additional funds in order to execute on its business plan and grow the respective businesses. All of the vendors are arm’s length parties to Luxor. “Our team in Alberta is pleased to join Luxor,” said John Hunter, president of Colt. “We look forward to providing our many years of experience in turnkey framing to support Luxor’s expansion into the United States.” Prior to the above two acquisitions, Luxor has and continues to be involved in the development, engineering, manufacturing and marketing of engineered wood products and operates in the industrial, residential and commercial sectors. This news release contains forward-looking information that involve various risks and uncertainties regarding future events. Such forward-looking information can include without limitation statements based on current expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance of Luxor. There are numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and Luxor’s plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information, including: adverse market conditions or the inability of Luxor to raise funds to execute on its business plan with respect to the recently acquired wood framing businesses. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Except as required by law, Luxor does not intend to update these forward-looking statements. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
February 3, 2016 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc., has signed a non-binding letter of intent to purchase the shares of Lufkin Creosoting Co., Inc. (Lufkin Creosoting). Lufkin Creosoting produces treated poles and timbers at its wood treating facility in Lufkin, Texas. Its consolidated sales for the year ended December 31, 2015 reached approximately US$34.2 million. The transaction, if finalized, is expected to close in April 2016 and is subject to customary conditions, including satisfactory due diligence and signature of a definitive share purchase agreement. Stella-Jones plans to finance the transaction through a combination of debt financing and a vendor note and may consider proceeding with an equity offering depending on market conditions. About Stella-Jones Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) 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 contains information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the proposed acquisition described herein. These statements are based on suppositions, risks and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such risks and uncertainties include, without excluding other considerations, the failure to satisfy closing conditions and the failure to complete or delay in completing the proposed acquisition for any other reason. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results and should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
January 26, 2016 - Luxor Industrial Corporation, a leading manufacturer and distributor of engineered commercial and residential wood building products, announced that it has partnered with Millennium Fire LLC to use its Millennium Advanced Framing Lumber technology (MAFL16) to protect wood. Luxor will initially apply this coating on its architectural wood products. Millennium Fire’s core product, which is MAFL16 has five key ingredients, one of which is a technology developed by No Burn Inc. that defends against fire. Additional key ingredients create a protective coating that defends against, mould, ultraviolet and moisture, which among other things protect the lumber during construction exposure. This MAFL16 coating will allow Luxor’s architectural products to meet the California Wildland, Urban Interface Codes. These new fire codes have been adopted in eight western U.S. states as a result of massive wildfires. Luxor will also market its architectural products in regions where fire codes have not been introduced so the national specifying community can select this advance lumber protection on their exterior wood details. The current exchange rate and Luxor’s factory proximity to the U.S. border provides an additional advantage in manufacturing these products for export. “No Burn is by far the best technically in the fire coating industry and Millennium is now their only OEM in North America,” said Steve Conboy, president and CEO of Millennium Fire LLC. “Luxor’s management team has experience with coating lumber and recognizes the value in coated wood to protect against things like fire and mould.” “We're pretty excited about the synergies that are occurring between No Burn Inc., Millennium Fire and Luxor, particularly with regards to Steve Conboy's value-added plan and program,” added Bill Kish, president and CEO for No Burn Inc. “We believe these treated products are going to be accepted and viewed as the new gold standard." For more information on Millennium Fire LLC, visit www.MFiress.com. Forward-looking statements This news release contains forward looking statements. Although Luxor believes that the expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because Luxor can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Additional information may be accessed through the Sedar website: www.sedar.com Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
January 25, 2016 - North America structural panel production and apparent consumption fell 4.9 per cent and 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter versus the third quarter of 2015, respectively, according to APA-The Engineered Wood Association. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, structural panel production was up 1.0 per cent , while apparent consumption rose 1.6 per cent. For the year 2015 in total, structural panel production increased 1.2 per cent and apparent consumption rose 2.9 per cent. North American OSB production fell 4.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015 from the third quarter, but was up 3.0 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2014. For the year, production totalled 20.357 billion square feet, up 2.4 per cent from 2014. In the fourth quarter, U.S. production fell 6.4 per cent while Canadian production dropped 1.6 per cent. U.S. production totalled 13.283 billion square feet for the year 2015, up 2.1 per cent from 2014. Canadian production in 2015 was 7.074 billion square feet, up 2.9 per cent from 2014.
January 18, 2016 - Luxor Industrial Corporation announced that on Jan. 13, 2016 it entered into two definitive agreements to acquire turn-key wood framing businesses in Canada and the United States. In Canada, Luxor has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement to buy the book business and certain assets of Colt Builders Inc. of Alberta (Colt). Upon the closing of the agreement, Luxor’s subsidiary Mill Frame Inc. (Newco) is to acquire such assets in consideration for 40 per cent of the shares of Newco. Colt has agreed that it will exchange 20 per cent of the Newco shares to Luxor in consideration for the issuance of 5 million shares of Luxor upon Newco generating $10 million in net sales and will exchange the remaining 20 per cent of the Newco shares to Luxor in consideration for the issuance of an additional 5 million shares of Luxor, upon Newco generating an additional $10 million in net sales ($20 million in the aggregate). Upon achievement of the milestones, Luxor will hold 100 per cent of the Newco shares. In the United States, Luxor has entered into Membership Interest Purchase Agreement to buy all of the equity interest of Mill Frame LLC, a Washington State limited liability company (Mill Frame) from the vendor thereof. Luxor is to acquire such interest in consideration for the issuance of 5 million shares of Luxor upon Mill Frame generating $10 million in net sales and the issuance of an additional 5 million shares of Luxor upon Mill Frame generating an additional $10 million in net sales ($20 million in the aggregate). Closing of the respective agreements will be conditional upon fulfillment of standard closing conditions, including receipt of approval from the TSX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange”). Although closing of the agreements is not conditional upon consummation of a specific financing, Luxor will be required to raise additional funds in the market in order to execute on its business plan and grow the respective businesses. Luxor intends to raise such funds through an equity financing on terms to be determined. Both Colt and Mill Frame are arm’s length parties to Luxor. As disclosed in its prior news release dated Nov. 5, 2015, management believes the consummation of the transactions will not constitute a Reverse Take-Over of Luxor or create a Control Person for the purposes of Exchange policies. John Hunter, president of Colt, has over 30 years of experience in this sector and comments, “Our team in Alberta is pleased to sign the agreement with Luxor. We look forward to providing our many years of experience in turnkey framing to support Luxor’s expansion into the United States.” Steve Conboy, president of Mill Frame, who has over 35 years of experience in the housing construction business states, “In the summer of 2015, I approached Luxor as a supplier of pre-fab walls; ten years ago when the exchange rate was similar we had done some great wood business together in the U.S. This time I saw an opportunity to sell turnkey framing to US builders and took a longer term view to partner up with Luxor. I am proud at the prospect to join Luxor and its group of seasoned veterans.” This news release contains forward-looking information that involve various risks and uncertainties regarding future events. Such forward-looking information can include without limitation statements based on current expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance of Luxor, such as statements that the company may close the definitive agreements as contemplated and that the company may raise funds in an equity financing to fund the development of the acquired businesses. There are numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and Luxor’s plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information, including: (i) adverse market conditions; (ii) the inability of Luxor to raise funds to execute on its business plan with respect to the recently acquired wood framing businesses; (iii) the Exchange not approving the transactions; or (iv) the inability to close the transactions for any reason. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Except as required by law, Luxor does not intend to update these forward-looking statements. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
December 31, 2015 - Luxor Industrial Corporation recently announced that its subsidiary, USA Mill Frame LLC, has signed the company's first U.S.-based contract with Venture General Contracting LLC. The contract, which is valued at approximately $1.8 million and will commence in February 2016 with an expected completion date of April 2016, will use Luxor's Canadian pre-fabricated walls, pre-packaged engineered floor systems and window and door frames to outfit a large Venture multi-family project located in Seattle, Wash. "Our primary focus in 2016 is expanding market share in the U.S., establishing micro distribution centres to service regional growth and win contracts to drive revenues,” said Terry Lashman, CEO of Luxor Industrial Corp. “I’m also extremely pleased with the progress we've made building out our management team and the direction of the company moving forward." About Luxor Industrial Corporation Adding to Luxor's products and commercial sales, the company now distributes fire protected exterior architectural details, pre-fabricated wall panels and a complete line of multi-family engineered lumber that includes products like I-joist, LVL, glulam beams. For more information, visit http://www.millframe.com/#!products/sqp1c. Luxor is involved in the development, engineering, manufacturing and marketing of engineered wood products. Luxor has vertically integrated through the pending acquisitions of turnkey framing companies in Canada and the United States. In the industrial sector, it manufacturers wood mat products. In the residential sector it manufactures its patented IBS 2000 engineered floor bridging, architectural wood products, and FastFrame™ wall components. For further information contact visit Luxor's website at www.luxorcorp.com. This news release contains forward looking statements. Although Luxor believes that the expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because Luxor can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Additional information may be accessed through the Sedar website: www.sedar.com.
December 30, 2015 – Swiss Krono Group, one of the world’s leading producers of engineered wood products, and its American subsidiary, KronotexUSA Holdings, Inc., announced the expansion of its existing operations in Barnwell County, S.C. The company is investing $230 million to build a high-density fiberboard (HDF) mill and expand its laminate flooring production, creating 105 new jobs over the next few years. “South Carolina has been a great investment partner for European countries,” said Max Von Tippelskirch, member of the Swiss Krono Group Management Board. “We appreciate the collaborative efforts of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and our many partners, including Barnwell County governmental agencies. Their patience, perseverance and continuous support have been and will continue to be instrumental in the future success of our South Carolina operations.” Headquartered in Switzerland, Swiss Krono Group’s origins can be traced back to 1966. Today, with facilities in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States, the company employs more than 4,500 workers worldwide. In an effort to meet increased customer demand, Swiss Krono Group is expanding its existing KronotexUSA facility in Barnwell County, which is located at 810 Technology Drive in Barnwell, S.C. This expansion will allow KronotexUSA to produce 300,000 cubic-metres of HDF per year, which the company will use for laminate flooring manufacturing operations and sell to furniture, cabinet, fixture, door and other wood-based manufacturers. In total, the project will increase the company’s annual laminate flooring capacity by an additional 8 million sq. m. “To have a great international company like Swiss Krono Group continue to grow, succeed and invest in our state proves that the Team South Carolina approach to economic development is working,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “This $230-million investment, and the 105 new jobs it will create, is a real reason to celebrate, and we look forward to seeing the impact that this company will continue to have across our state.” Preliminary engineering has been completed and construction is expected to start by mid-2016, with HDF operations to begin by the summer of 2018. Once completed, this expansion will increase KronotexUSA’s Barnwell County’s workforce to 275 employees. Those interested in applying for one of the new positions should visit the company’s careers page online. The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits, as well as a $1 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Barnwell County to assist with the costs of real property improvements related to the project. Further information is available at www.krono.com and www.kronotexusa.com.
November 23, 2015 – Rick Ekstein, current president and CEO of Weston Forest, announced the appointment of Steve Rhone to the position of president, effective January 1, 2016. “Steve has been with Weston for 29 years, and has risen to a senior level in literally every part of the organization,” said Ekstein. “His vast experience in the company, including his current role as vice-president, finance and operations, makes him uniquely qualified to lead Weston Forest into the future.” Ekstein will remain CEO and an active advisor to the management at Weston, but will be spending more time pursuing his many other business, political and charitable interests. “I am very proud of my work at Weston, and I look forward to working with our great team as we continue to grow our business,” said Rhone. “I am honoured to be taking on this role. This is a company with an impressive history and I am committed to ensuring that it will remain strong in the years to come. Rick has spent a great deal of time mentoring our Executive Team and developing staff at all levels of our company, and I am very confident of our ability to continue to provide value to our customers, suppliers and staff.” About Weston Weston Forest is one of North America’s leading distributors and remanufacturers of softwood and hardwood lumber and specialty panel products. Weston’s different business units serve the industrial crating and packaging sectors, provide specialty products to the construction and infrastructure sectors, and manufacture and distribute a wide variety of products to lumber and building material dealers. In 2015 Weston was named One of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, and One of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies.
November 6, 2015 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2015. "Stella-Jones' solid performance in the third quarter was driven by our ability to respond to healthy demand in the railway tie and residential lumber categories. Our growing profitability reflects evolving market conditions in the untreated railway tie market and efficiency gains throughout our continental network. Moreover, we further expanded our reach through a strategic acquisition in Arkansas on September 1, 2015 and the conclusion of the Ram Forest Group Inc. and Ramfor Lumber Inc. acquisition on October 1, 2015," said Brian McManus, president and CEO for Stella-Jones Inc. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Financial highlights Quarters ended Sept. 30 Nine months ended Sept. 30,(in millions of Canadian dollars, except per share data) 2015 2014 2015 2014 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sales 433.1 357.3 1,201.8 959.6 Operating income 62.9 45.5 171.8 121.8 Net income for the period 39.3 29.5 108.4 80.9 Per share - basic ($) 0.57 0.43 1.57 1.18 Per share - diluted ($) 0.57 0.43 1.57 1.17 Weighted average shares outstanding (basic, in '000s) 69,025 68,829 68,989 68,780 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Third quarter results Sales reached $433.1 million, up 21.2 per cent from $357.3 million a year ago. The conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, had a positive impact of $57.2 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales when compared with last year. Excluding this factor, sales increased approximately $18.6 million, or 5.2 per cent. Railway tie sales amounted to $200.6 million, up 34.8 per cent from $148.8 million last year. Excluding the foreign currency conversion effect, railway tie sales rose approximately 14.7 per cent as a result of selling price adjustments and healthy industry demand. Sales of utility poles reached $142.3 million, representing an increase of 11.6 per cent over sales of $127.6 million last year. Factoring out the foreign currency conversion effect, sales decreased approximately 1.5 per cent reflecting 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, partially offset by a steady rise in sales of distribution poles stemming from regular maintenance projects. Sales of residential lumber totalled $53.2 million, up from $43.5 million last year, reflecting higher sales in the United States due to a healthier economy in certain sectors, as well as in Western Canada, reflecting the Company's increasing reach in British Columbia. Industrial product sales were $28.4 million, compared with $29.7 million a year ago, mainly due to lower sales of laminated poles, as demand for this product is mainly project driven. Non-pole-quality log sales were $8.5 million, versus $7.7 million last year, mainly due to the timing of timber harvesting. Gross profit reached $87.5 million, or 20.2 per cent of sales, up from $62.4 million, or 17.5 per cent of sales, last year. The increase in absolute dollars essentially stems from higher business activity 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 38.4 per cent to $62.9 million, or 14.5 per cent of sales, versus $45.5 million, or 12.7 per cent of sales, last year. Net income for the third quarter of 2015 increased 33.2 per cent to $39.3 million or $0.57 per share, fully diluted, compared with $29.5 million or $0.43 per share, fully diluted, in the third quarter of 2014. Nine-month results For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2015, sales totalled $1,201.8 million, versus $959.6 million for the corresponding period a year earlier. The wood treating facilities acquired from Boatright Railroad Products, Inc. on May 22, 2014 contributed additional sales of $48.4 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar increased the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales by $124.7 million. Excluding these factors, sales increased approximately $69.1 million, or 7.2 per cent. Operating income reached $171.8 million, or 14.3 per cent of sales, up from $121.8 million, or 12.7 per cent of sales, a year ago. Net income amounted to $108.4 million, or $1.57 per share, fully diluted, compared with $80.9 million, or $1.17 per share, fully diluted, last year. Financial position As at September 30, 2015, the Company's long-term debt, including the current portion, stood at $536.9 million compared with $538.1 million three months earlier. This reduction reflects a solid cash flow generation, partially offset by the effect of local currency translation on U.S. dollar denominated long-term debt. As at September 30, 2015, Stella-Jones' total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.38:1, versus 0.41:1 as at June 30, 2015. Acquisition of Treated Materials Co., Inc. During the third quarter, on September 1, 2015, Stella-Jones completed, through its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, the acquisition of substantially all the operating assets employed in the wood treating facility of Treated Materials Co., Inc. located in Rison, Ark. This facility manufactures, sells and distributes treated utility poles and was acquired for synergistic reasons. Total cash outlay associated with the acquisition was approximately $5.4 million (US$4.1 million). Quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share On November 5, 2015, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.08 per common share, payable on December 21, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 2, 2015. Outlook "Looking ahead to the remainder of 2015 and into 2016, railway tie demand is expected to remain healthy, driven by solid fundamental factors. With respect to utility poles, lower resource prices continue to create headwinds, mainly through a decrease in demand for special projects, while regular maintenance demand should hold. Over the mid-term, we believe that utility pole demand should improve, as an increasing number of poles are approaching the end of their service life and will have to be replaced. In addition, the Ram acquisition will allow Stella-Jones to leverage its reach in the residential lumber category. Our ability to methodically expand our presence in the wood treating industry by capturing accretive and synergistic opportunities underlines our commitment to create shareholder value," concluded Mr. McManus. Conference call Stella-Jones will hold a conference call to discuss these results on Friday, November 6, 2015, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. 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 recording of the meeting by calling 1-800-585-8367 and entering the passcode 56328938. This tape recording will be available on Friday, November 6, 2015 as of 1:00 PM Eastern Time until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Friday, November 13, 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. (TSX:SJ) 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 third quarter ended September 30, 2015 are available on Stella-Jones' website at www.stella-jones.com
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