Dec. 13, 2018 – In September, the emerald ash borer was discovered at DeWolfe Park in Bedford, N.S.
Dec. 12, 2018 – For six years now, Canadian Forest Industries has showcased the achievements and potential of young forestry leaders in our Top 10 Under 40. In order to individually acknowledge and highlight the contributions of each winner, CFI will feature one of 2018's winners every week for the next 10 weeks.
Dec. 11, 2018 – Sitting side by side at the John Deere demo site in Illinois, the brand-new 748L-II grapple skidder and its predecessor, the 748L, are nearly identical. Brandon O’Neal, John Deere’s product marketing manager for full tree forestry, chuckles when he says from the outside the machines are not all that different. But a closer look at the interior reveals the three years of product development that went into the L-II models.
Dec. 10, 2018 - After months of survey fieldwork and analysis published on our website weekly as survey snippets and regional reports, we’ve released the complete 50-page 2018 CFI Contractor Survey digital report.
Dec. 7, 2018 – Continuing to build on the strengths of the K-Series lineup, John Deere introduces the 655K and 755K Final Tier 4 crawler loaders. These machines serve as the latest additions to the crawler loader line and provide operators with increased productivity and uptime, along with lower daily operating costs. Designed and manufactured in Dubuque, Iowa, the 655K and 755K feature familiar designs, systems and components consistent with other product lines throughout the John Deere crawler family.
Dec. 7, 2018 – Every region of Canada has unique geographic features that set them apart from the rest. However, while that description also applies to Newfoundland, when you are there, there is also a vaguely perceptible other world sense about the place. I was thinking this as I drove the new 2019 GMC Sierra from St. John’s through the Avalon Peninsula on my way to Conception Bay, N.L.
Dec. 5, 2018 – For six years now, Canadian Forest Industries has showcased the achievements and potential of young forestry leaders in our Top 10 Under 40. In order to individually acknowledge and highlight the contributions of each winner, CFI will feature one of 2018's winners every week for the next 10 weeks.
Dec. 5, 2018 – Creole Dufour and his younger brother Easten run their own steep slope logging operation called Essential Evergreen in the Monashee Mountains near Lumby, B.C. Their work includes many high-risk steep and conventional blocks, which is where the new Timbermax Traction-Winch enters the picture.
Dec. 4, 2018 – Now that lumber markets have receded, has borrowed time run out?
Dec. 3, 2018 - The government of Nova Scotia today announced changes to its forest practices, following recommendations by the University of King's College president Bill Lahey.
Nov. 30, 2018 – Mike Jenks has been in the logging business for a long time. He has worked through the strong years and weathered the lean seasons as they came. He kept ahead of the game by correctly reading the trends and coming up with innovative ways to succeed in what can be a difficult industry at the best of times.
Nov. 29, 2018 – The undercarriage of tracked heavy equipment, such as log loaders, consists of many moving components that need to be maintained in order for them to function properly. If the undercarriage is not routinely inspected and maintained, it can easily cost valuable time, money and potentially decrease the track’s lifespan.
Dec. 13, 2018 – “It was either just run the other equipment into the ground and walk away, or dive in head first,” says Kris Heideman, vice-president of Eganville, Ont.-based Lavern Heideman & Sons Lumber, about the company’s recent $17 million upgrade.
Dec. 10, 2018 - Irving Forest Services, a division of J.D. Irving Ltd., has seen success with virtual training through the Northern Lakes College (NLC) and Plant Engineering & Maintenance Association of Canada (PEMAC) Maintenance Management Professional (MMP) program, which was designed for maintenance personnel and supervisors to learn effective management of physical assets.
Dec. 10, 2018 - CFI has a rundown of the newest kiln technology for drying Canadian lumber in 2018.
Dec. 5, 2018 – A university student from the UK once asked me on LinkedIn what my take was on target zero incidents or accidents at the workplace, and whether this is achievable. To be honest, I was thinking that she (the student) had been asked this question as an assignment, but then I realized this was a great opportunity to spread the safety message to a different part of the world.
Dec. 4, 2018 – Rayonier Advanced Materials (A.M.) is investing to update the primary breakdown line at its La Sarre, Que. plant. The company is installing a new small log line from USNR that will feature a knuckle turner and extended length infeed with slew, skew and tilt capabilities, PGLR log rotation monitoring and correction system, canter, sideboard profiler, quad arbor sawbox and VSS vertical shape sawing gang system. The stud mill operation processes Eastern SPF logs from three to 17 inches in diameter, with the line’s maximum operating speed at 600 fpm. The La Sarre mill will also install a sawmill multi-track fence as it re-tools to improve its process.
Dec. 3, 2018 – Since 2015, Canadian Forest Industries has hosted OptiSaw mill optimization and automation forum in Montreal, now a biennial event where sawmill owners, managers and optimization staff gather to hear about the latest technologies from major industry manufacturers.
Nov. 27, 2018 – One of the earliest beneficiaries of Industry 4.0 manufacturing techniques has unveiled a detailed guide to adoption that avoids a negative impact on current production.
Nov. 21, 2018 - OptiSaw may just be the most efficient way to keep up-to-speed on new and future sawmill solutions, and in touch with your peers. There's only a week to go before this exclusive event takes place in Montreal.
Nov. 15, 2018 - B.C.-based Canfor Corporation is heading to Europe. The company has agreed to purchase a 70 per cent stake in Sweden's largest privately owned sawmill company, VIDA Group.
Nov. 6, 2018 – CFI toured Eganville, Ont.-based Lavern Heideman & Sons, which recently invested $17 million to upgrade their sawmill, adding a new large-log line, two dry kilns and more. Vice-president Kris Heideman gave us a warm welcome!
Nov. 6, 2018 – At JoeScan’s TP&EE (Timber Processing and Energy Expo) booth in October, a group of sawmill industry leaders gathered to toast Galloway Lumber, the winner of the Longest Running JoeScan contest. This announcement ended the months-long search for the longest continually operating JoeScan 3D laser scanner.
Nov. 1, 2018 – The lumber industry is facing a significant surplus of wood chips. This situation may well worsen in the coming years as pulp and paper mills consume fewer chips.
Dec. 10, 2018 - Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 2019, Quebec City will host the second edition of the Woodrise, an international congress that brings together all the main stakeholders, decision-makers and professionals involved in mid-rise and high-rise building construction. The Program Committee, composed of industry members from various sectors, has been active for many weeks now in order to present a program that will meet or even surpass the participants' expectations.
Nov. 30, 2018 – Yesterday, Sidewalk Labs released their draft site plan for Toronto’s Quayside neighbourhood, which calls for using mass timber in its construction.
Nov. 23, 2018 – Columbia Forest Products (CFP) has acquired a hardwood veneer processing facility from 3A Composites in Ecuador. This is tied to a long-term sourcing agreement for FSC-Certified wood from fast-growth hardwood plantations in the region that will be used to make Columbia’s “MPX” hardwood plywood panels, featuring PureBond formaldehyde-free technology.
Sept. 25, 2018 - Structurlam is opening a mass timber facility in Okanagan Falls, B.C., in October.
Sept. 24, 2018 - Building on the success of its high-speed equipment, Gilbert has added to its product line a planer for mass timber lumber.
Sept. 21, 2018 - A new case study published by APA – The Engineered Wood Association shows how mass timber proved to be the ideal material for First Tech Federal Credit Union’s new campus in Hillsboro, Oregon. The owners and design team say the finished building delivers on its quest to encourage the health and well-being of employees, reflect Pacific Northwest values and blend in with the surrounding park and trees.
Sept. 5, 2018 - Norbord Inc. is launching its second video to kick off "Thank a Framer" month this September. This video follows the process of manufacturing oriented strand board (OSB) from the forest to the construction site, paying homage to workers in the supply chain along the way. It aims to highlight the vital role framers play and supports Norbord's efforts to ease the construction labor shortage.
Aug. 28, 2018 - USNR’s veneer dryers are renowned for consistently producing high-quality veneer with a uniform dry moisture content and aesthetic appearance. Our systems offer the highest efficiency, using the least amount of energy while producing minimal exhaust.
Aug. 23, 2018 - Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre is the first project in Canada to be recognized by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) as Living Building Challenge certified; the most rigorous sustainability standard in the world.
Aug. 15, 2018 - Despite mounting pressures to increase investments, reduce prices and source lumber from sustainable sources, the global market for unfinished wood/lumber products is expected to experience positive growth over the next five years, according to a new report from BCC Research.The unfinished wood/lumber market reached a value of nearly $223.1 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3 per cent to nearly $275.2 billion by 2022, according to the recently published report Unfinished Wood/Lumber Manufacturing: Global Markets to 2022.Major players in the market are West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Canfor Corp., Weyerhaeuser Company, Interfor Corp. and Metsä Group.Research Highlights Hardwood is projected to experience the strongest growth between 2017 and 2022, resulting from increased demand for beams, boards and dimension lumber from building construction companies, as they are sturdier than softwood products. Asia-Pacific was the largest region in the unfinished wood/lumber manufacturing market in 2017, accounting for 45.3 per cent of the global market. Going forward, South America is expected to witness the fastest growth in the unfinished wood/lumber market, estimated to at grow at a CAGR of six per cent. “The unfinished wood manufacturing market is benefiting from technological advances relating to wood treatment and processing,” the report notes. “Digital technologies such as big data and the internet of things (IoT) are being used to enhance manufacturing efficiency and reduce costs in the wood processing industry.”Lumber Manufacturers Implementing Sustainable Wood CertificationsMany lumber production companies in developed economies are certifying their products though accreditation agencies to cater to environmentally conscious customers. Rise in awareness of deforestation, climate change and environmental concerns are increasing customer preference for products manufactured from wood sourced from companies having sustainable forest management accreditations. For instance, accreditations including the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) are internationally recognized certifications for sustainable forest operations.BCC Research is a publisher of market research reports that provide organizations with intelligence to drive smart business decisions. By partnering with industry experts worldwide, BCC Research provides unbiased measurements and assessments of global markets covering major industrial and technology sectors, including emerging markets. For more information about BCC Research, please visit bccresearch.com. Follow BCC Research on Twitter at @BCCResearch.
Aug. 14, 2018 - Decorative panel manufacturer Tafisa Canada has announced two first-of-their-kind innovations designed to provide the North American industry, designers and architects with unprecedented selection of high-end, affordable products that fill a market gap.
Aug. 3, 2018 - A group of 17 firefighters were on site at Norbord's OSB plant in 100 Mile House, B.C. on July 28 for a fire that measured 50 by 80 feet.The fire was described as large in size and difficult to control prompting crews to fight it through the night until the morning of July 29.Norbord staff are reported to have tried to extinguish the fire before crews arrived.The fire is now completely extinguished. There were no injuries.Read the full story here.
Sept. 20, 2018 - The Shake and Shingle Alliance has just received notice of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) scope ruling which held that Canadian shakes and shingles are subject to antidumping and countervailing duties on softwood lumber.
Sept. 13, 2018 - Despite its request to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Canada's Shake and Shingle Alliance was told the country's shake and shingle industry would not be exempt from U.S. tariffs against softwood lumber.
July 31, 2018 - Following the successful completion of a $53 million investment in Val-d'Or in 2017, Uniboard is pleased to announce an additional $38.5 million investment for its Val-d'Or facility and is in the second phase of a major upgrade project to build a world-class particleboard and thermally fused laminate (TFL) facility in Val-d'Or.
March 13, 2018 - Pinnacle and West Fraser have begun the conversion of an existing particle board facility in Smithers, B.C., to a wood pellet production facility.The project under the Smithers Pellet Limited Partnership will be co-owned by West Fraser Timber Co. (30 per cent) and Pinnacle (70 per cent).Located in northwestern B.C. approximately halfway between Prince George and Prince Rupert, the Smithers facility is connected by direct rail to Pinnacle’s Westview Port Terminal in Prince Rupert.The plant will have an annual capacity of 125,000 metric tonnes, with production expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018.Both fibre supply and customer off-take agreements are in place under long-term agreements, the company reports. “We are pleased to be partnering on the Smithers facility redevelopment with West Fraser. This project will contribute to the economic vitality and job growth of Smithers and other local communities,” Robert McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle, said in a news release. “We are committed to the numerous communities throughout the Western Canadian fibre basket in which we operate, and we plan to continue to look for similar projects to support our future growth.”Pinnacle currently operates six industrial wood pellet production facilities and a port terminal in B.C., and, in addition to the Smithers operation, has a new production facility under construction in Entwistle, Alta.
Feb. 27, 2018 - Eric Savics and Danny Hagge established Van Urban Timber to produce live-edge slabs and custom wood furniture from locally salvaged urban trees in Vancouver, B.C. “Van Urban Timber started with a theory and an idea that came from Danny [Hagge]," Savics says. "He had a theory that there were enough urban trees coming down on a daily basis that could sustain enough fibre to run a small timber business. What we would do, is provide a free service to go and pick up these trees whether they were coming down for reasons of liability, aesthetic, development, what have you.” “When we started Van Urban Timber we were excited because we were doing something people weren’t doing in the city," Hagge says. "We were taking green waste and turning it into something no one was producing in Vancouver. I think that is the backbone of our company. No matter what, we are always going to strive to be recycling, reusing, and I think that’s the way of the future. Renewable is definitely the way.”
Feb. 27, 2018 - Lincoln Dobson is in the search, rescue and recycling business. He searches for old growth forest timber used in building construction, rescues them from the demolition scrap heap, and recycles the douglas fir, western larch, spruce, and pine beams into new timber frame buildings, lumber products, and even heirloom-quality bed frames. By harvesting the industrial forest in this way, Lincoln’s Buena Vista, Sask.,-based business, Last Mountain Timber Wrighting and Recycling, helps to preserve existing old growth forests while providing some of the soundest, richly-textured, appearance grade wood available for new construction. “After high school, I started tree planting in Western Canada and could see the logging clear cuts, which disturbed me,” Lincoln says. “I have a love of nature and wondered what I could do to help the forest in addition to planting trees.” Besides tree planting, Lincoln also spent years working for a timber framing company in British Columbia, where he acquired the mortise and tenon joinery skills needed to build hand-crafted timber frame structures. His inspiration for rescuing and recycling wood was ignited when his father, who was in the building demolition business, informed him that many old wooden grain elevators scattered throughout the rural countryside were being demolished. When he returned to Buena Vista, Lincoln’s desire to save forests along with his sawmilling and carpentry skills enabled him to launch Last Mountain Timber. Throughout the past 20 years, the company has rescued more than 1.6 million board feet of timber from demolished buildings. The old growth beams have typically been in structural building components anywhere from 40 to 110 years, with some beams measuring as large as 12” X 16” up to 24’ long. The company either salvages the timbers themselves or purchases them from elsewhere as they become available. Last Mountain Timber’s best industrial timber resource has been old wooden grain elevators slated for demolition. For many years, the business was extremely busy rescuing high quality, old growth wood commonly used in these structures. “There were some summers when I was getting a grain elevator each week and dealing with five or six demolition companies,” Lincoln says. “Now it is in its twilight.”To this point, the company has salvaged timber from 205 grain elevators, but Dobson says that similar to old growth forests, it is becoming harder and harder to find industrial timbers from demolition projects, as many grain storage silos have transitioned to cement construction. This year, there were only three elevator demolition projects and that will likely be the last of them. In the meantime, the company’s customers keep a keen eye for demolition projects where beams could be rescued and let Lincoln know when they become available. While harvesting the industrial forest is an important part of Dobson’s business, what happens to the old growth timber after they are rescued is how the company makes a profit. The timbers are sometimes used in new timber frame construction, but more often, the surfaces on the square beams are carefully sawn to remove the grey exterior appearance acquired over time to reveal their natural inner beauty. The timbers are then custom-sawn into a variety of wood dimensions to meet customer requirements. Recently, they installed a 12” X 14” timber measuring 20’ long and a couple of 12” X 14” posts at the entrance to the Jiffy Lube headquarters building in Edmonton, Alta. They have also supplied material for a Montana’s restaurant in Saskatoon, Sask. While they have done business throughout Canada and the United States, their sales and projects these days are a lot closer to home. The key component to the sawmilling side of their business is a Wood-Mizer LT40 band sawmill with a 12’ bed extension. This allows the company to custom saw timbers up to 33’ long. While there was no question that Lincoln was going to purchase a Wood-Mizer sawmill because of his past positive experience using the equipment, he says it was important to properly power the unit to deal with harder wood material like recycled douglas fir. “I was definitely looking for a diesel. I get so much more power and so much more fuel efficiency with it,” Lincoln says. “I knew that I was going to be a professional about running my business, and so I chose the Wood-Mizer LT40 because it was a heavier duty unit. I can definitely count on it. The sawmill is durable and dollar for dollar, it’s probably some of the best money I’ve ever spent.” Recently, Lincoln upgraded to using Wood-Mizer RazorTip carbide tipped blades for remanufacturing purposes on abrasive timber. The material produced on the band sawmill has numerous uses in homes, cabins, lodges, commercial structures, home additions, garages, barns, gazebos and covered residential decks. “When we put a timber on there, it could be for a set of stairs, a table, a bed or a bar top,” Lincoln says, depending on the cut list to fill orders. The company also manufactures truss and roof systems, residential and commercial flooring, mouldings, baseboards, and casings. The material from the band sawmill could also be components for the supply and construction of engineered and handcrafted mortise and tenon timber frame buildings that Last Mountain Timber offers as part of its diverse product line. To complement his Wood-Mizer sawmill, Lincoln uses a Wood-Mizer EG200 twin blade board edger primarily to conserve and edge grey jacket boards generated from the first cut on the bandsaw mill. These boards are aesthetically pleasing material for feature walls or as headboards on bed frames. Most recently, Lincoln purchased a Wood-Mizer BMS250 blade sharpener and BMT150 tooth setter. “It’s working really well because the system is able to do a better job than the two guys I was sending my blades to for sharpening,” Lincoln says. He says that he likes that Wood-Mizer offers many options to grow as needed with all their equipment. With industrial old growth forest timber becoming harder to find, Last Mountain Timber has made the transition to also marketing green and first-cut wood, which includes processing raw logs, sawing other wood species like birch, and salvaging local downed trees that might have ended up in the landfill or burned as firewood. Lincoln concludes that he depends on and uses his Wood-Mizer equipment every day and his business wouldn’t be where it is today without it.
Feb. 26, 2018 - Located in the small community of Haute-Aboujagane in the southeastern part of New Brunswick is the family-owned and operated G.L. Wood Products. Established in 1985, the value-added remanufacturing company produces a variety of wood products including wooden boxes, pallets, stickers & laths, and dunnage. “The main line is buying lumber at a certain price that we remanufacture and sell for a higher price,” said Guy Donelle, operations manager at G.L. Wood Products. “Over the years, we have diversified and grown our company from 5 seasonal employees to over 40 yearly employees.”G.L. Wood Products is situated a few miles west of the Atlantic Ocean where the local economy relies heavily on the fish and wood products industries. The company capitalizes on both markets and first came into business by primarily processing wooden boxes for shipping fish domestically as well as to the northeastern United States, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Iceland. G.L. produces various sized boxes for smoked herring, cod, halibut, oysters, potatoes, berries, and boned salt ranging from five pound to 300 pound capacities. Donelle said the industry prefers wooden boxes compared to cardboard or waxed curtain cardboard boxes because clients generally reuse the quality wood for another purpose, especially in countries such as Haiti and the Dominican. Wooden boxes produced by G.L. were originally processed by double arbor circular saw blades, but the business had issues with the product consistency and quality. In 1995, G.L. purchased a six-head horizontal resaw manufactured by Wood-Mizer in order to increase their efficiency from the thin-kerf bandsaw blades it utilized.“It changed the company,” Donelle said. “Because of the thin-kerf, we increased 20 per cent of our production by getting an extra piece from each 2 x 6.”After buying heat treated dry spruce 2 x 6 lumber, the multi-head resaw splits the boards horizontally in half to get two ends of the wooden box. For the box sides, bottom, and cover, another 2 x 6 board is split into five pieces through one complete pass on the six-head resaw. Once the correct size of box pieces are prepared and custom printing of a company’s name and product description is added, the pieces ship to the customer unassembled which saves on shipping costs and cargo space. According to Donelle, the operation became more efficient when running their equipment at an optimal speed to process up to 28,000 board feet during each nine hour work shift. For more than 20 years with the same resaw, the company has processed six million board feet of dry spruce annually which is equal to more than one million wooden boxes produced for the seafood shipping and packaging industry each year.Along with the success of wooden boxes, diversification of products has been pivotal for the growth of the business. Although the Atlantic provinces are not considered to be a large manufacturing sector, in 1996 G.L. identified a market to produce and sell wooden pallets for the industry.“We have grown the business by selling to fisheries, peat moss companies and also the manufacturing sector,” Donelle said. “We build a lot of custom pallets both softwood and hardwood and have over 60 different types of pallets from stringer, block, and wing pallets.”Although pallet production is supplemental to the primary wooden box business, the company produces more than 300,000 pallets per year for companies throughout Eastern Canada and the United States.In 2005, G.L. further diversified and added a second Wood-Mizer six-head resaw to begin producing kiln stickers and laths for local sawmills in the area.“The [Wood-Mizer] multi-head resaw gives us the kerf and the precision needed for making these products,” Donelle said. “With the durability and service we were getting from Wood-Mizer, we didn’t hesitate in buying a second multi-head and didn’t even quote the competition.”For manufacturing the stickers and laths, G.L. takes a 2 x 6 piece and passes it through the six-head resaw vertically to produce stickers. “That’s why we bought the second multi-head,” Donelle explained. “Because we can get seven boards off the 2 x 6 in one pass.” Almost nothing goes to waste in the operation as byproducts prove profitable as well with the selling of kindling from below-grade kiln stickers along with shavings and sawdust sold to local farmers. The scheduled management of their bandsaw blades has also proved beneficial by sharpening each blade as many as six times instead of throwing them away at the first signs of dullness.“Instead of using a blade and run it until it breaks, we change the blades every half day,” Donelle said. “By doing that we save a lot on the downtime because you seldom see blades break during production.”G.L. depends on Wood-Mizer blade sharpeners and tooth setters to maintain the performance of their own blades on-site and has been using Wood-Mizer bandsaw blades for the past several years.Today, G.L. is making wooden boxes more than ever, but has now diversified into additional wood products and markets to establish a sound blueprint for sustained success. Throughout decades of lucrative operations, Donelle said their accomplishments have come from employing good people and treating them as family. “You really have to surround yourself with good people. When you have good employees and good suppliers and good customers, you’re building all the right bridges and it keeps business simpler. Our employees are ultimately important to our business and our overall key to success.”
Feb. 9, 2018 – Natural wood has been used to build structures for centuries, but it has its limitations. Even after pre-treatment, temperature changes like extreme heat can make wood expand causing it to weaken.A team of scientists at the University of Maryland came up with a two-step process to help natural wood overcome those barriers since it is a cheap and preferred building material all over the world. Their solution involves the partial removal of lignin and hemicellulose from the natural wood followed by hot-pressing to completely densify the natural wood and increase its strength tenfold. “Our processed wood has a specific strength higher than that of most structural metals and alloys, making it a low-cost, high-performance, lightweight alternative,” the scientists wrote in their academic article published in the science journal Nature.
Jan. 2, 2018 - Alberta forest products company Millar Western Forest Products Ltd. announced that it is continuing to execute its growth strategy through the acquisition of Spruceland Millworks Inc. Millar Western has acquired all shares of the company, its manufacturing operations in Acheson, Alta., and its woodlands assets. The transaction brings together two companies that have enjoyed a productive business relationship for decades.Spruceland Millworks is a value-added manufacturer and international distributor of high quality SPF wood products. Started in 1982 by Ben Sawatzky with a simple table saw and a second-hand forklift, the company today has grown to become a "go-to" supplier for its customers and trusted employer in the region. Its more than 100 highly-skilled employees operate a 130,000-square foot manufacturing facility in Acheson. "For the past 35 years, Spruceland Millworks has been a leader in Alberta's value-added wood products sector, developing new products and building new markets in Canada, the U.S. and overseas," said Craig Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Millar Western. "Through most of those years, Millar Western has been Spruceland's largest supplier of raw material. We look forward to working in even closer partnership with Spruceland leadership to continue the advancement of this dynamic business." This transaction will strengthen Millar Western by integrating the company's existing sawmill operations with Spruceland's value-added manufacturing capabilities. Operating as a division of Millar Western, Spruceland will continue to work under its existing, proven management team and highly-regarded brand. "Alberta forest companies have a reputation as progressive, responsible and innovative," said Tim Fazio, managing partner and co-founder of Atlas Holdings, which entered into partnership with Millar Western in May 2017, becoming majority shareholder. "We are excited about the prospects for growth and expansion within the province's forest sector, led by proven companies like Millar Western and Spruceland." Ben Sawatzky, Spruceland Millworks chief executive officer, commented that the two companies share a family-business background and a common approach to management. "With their long history in Alberta, strong core values, proven ability in sustainable forest management, commitment to the value-added sector and reputation as a good employer, Millar Western is ideally suited to assist Spruceland in its next phase of growth. I am especially pleased that this strategic alliance will ensure a strong future for Spruceland's dedicated staff and security of supply for our valued customers." Headquartered in Edmonton, Millar Western is a century-old, Alberta-based forest products company that produces SPF and aspen lumber, pulp and bioenergy at facilities in Whitecourt and Fox Creek. Established in 1982 and based in Acheson, Spruceland uses SPF dimension lumber to produce value-added wood products including decking, studs, furring strips and industrial access mats. Combined, Millar Western and Spruceland employ nearly 700 people on a full-time basis, and hundreds more on contract.
Nov. 3, 2017 - Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) ("Stella-Jones" or the "Company") today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2017. "Stella-Jones' growing reach in the utility pole and residential lumber markets led to solid sales growth in these product categories during the third quarter, more than offsetting the effect of lower year-over-year pricing in the railway tie product category. Furthermore, a strong operating cash flow generation allowed us to significantly reduce our long-term debt and positions us for future expansion," said Brian McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer. Financial highlights (in millions of Canadian dollars, except per share data) Quarters ended Sept. 30, Nine-months ended Sept. 30, 2017 2016 2017 2016 Sales 517.6 512.6 1,508.8 1,496.6 Operating income 63.1 67.3 178.4 205.1 Net income for the period 42.0 45.7 116.8 135.4 Per share - basic and diluted ($) 0.61 0.66 1.68 1.96 Weighted average shares outstanding (basic, in '000s) 69,330 69,255 69,319 69,200 THIRD QUARTER RESULTS Sales reached $517.6 million, up 1.0% from $512.6 million last year. Acquisitions contributed sales of approximately $2.1 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, had a negative impact of $9.9 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales increased by $12.9 million, or 2.5%. Railway tie sales amounted to $160.8 million, compared with sales of $186.6 million in last year's third quarter. Excluding the currency conversion effect, railway tie sales declined approximately $21.7 million, or 11.6%, mainly due to lower pricing. Utility pole sales reached $172.5 million in the third quarter of 2017, representing a 7.8% increase over sales of $160.0 million a year ago. Excluding the contribution from acquisitions and the currency conversion effect, sales increased approximately $14.4 million, or 9.0%, reflecting organic sales growth in the southeastern United States and a gradual return to historical maintenance demand. Sales in the residential lumber category reached $125.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, up from $107.3 million a year earlier. Excluding the currency conversion effect, residential lumber sales increased approximately $20.2 million, or 18.8%, mainly reflecting higher selling prices due to increased untreated lumber costs and more favourable weather in Canada during the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. Industrial product sales reached $25.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $27.5 million in the third quarter of 2016. This variation is mainly due to lower sales of marine pilings in Canada, partially offset by higher sales of rail-related products in the United States. Logs and lumber sales totalled $32.9 million, versus $31.3 million in the third quarter of 2016. This variation reflects the timing of lumber purchase and resale activities, the timing of timber harvesting, as well as higher selling prices due to increased lumber costs. Operating income stood at $63.1 million, or 12.2% of sales, compared with $67.3 million, or 13.1% of sales in the third quarter of the previous year. The decrease as a percentage of sales essentially reflects lower selling prices for railway ties and a less favourable geographical mix in the utility pole category. Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $42.0 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, versus $45.7 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2016. NINE-MONTH RESULTS For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017, sales amounted to $1.51 billion, versus $1.50 billion for the corresponding period a year earlier. Acquisitions contributed sales of $40.9 million, while the currency conversion effect had a negative impact of $4.3 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales decreased approximately $24.4 million, or 1.6%. Operating income reached $178.4 million, or 11.8% of sales, compared with $205.1 million, or 13.7% of sales, last year. Net income totalled $116.8 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, versus $135.4 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, in the prior year. SOLID FINANCIAL POSITION As at September 30, 2017, the Company's financial position remained solid with long-term debt, including the current portion, of $454.1 million, down significantly from $615.8 million three months earlier. The decrease in long-term debt reflects a solid operating cash flow generation during the quarter and, to a lesser extent, the effect of local currency translation on U.S. dollar denominated long-term debt. As at September 30, 2017, Stella-Jones' total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.30:1, down from 0.37:1 three months earlier. QUARTERLY DIVIDEND OF $0.11 PER SHARE On November 2, 2017, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.11 per common share payable on December 21, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 4, 2017. OUTLOOK "Based on current trends, we expect to conclude 2017 with slightly higher sales compared to the previous year. Looking ahead to 2018, conditions prevailing in the railway tie category should yield relatively stable sales. Meanwhile, normal maintenance patterns and improving demand for transmission poles should provide further momentum in the utility pole category. We also expect margins to slightly improve throughout 2018. Our focus remains on growing shareholder value by maximizing operating cash flow through ensuring efficient and cost- effective operations. Funds generated will be invested in working capital and our existing network, while maintaining an optimal dividend policy and examining expansion opportunities that offer strategic value in our main product categories," concluded Mr. McManus. CONFERENCE CALL Stella-Jones will hold a conference call to discuss these results on November 3, 2017, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. Interested parties can join the call by dialing 1-647-788-4922 (Toronto or overseas) or 1-877-223-4471 (elsewhere in North America). Parties unable to call in at this time may access a recording by calling 1-800-585-8367 and entering the passcode 83494502. This recording will be available on Friday, November 3, 2017 as of 1:00 PM Eastern Time until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Friday, November 10, 2017. NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES Operating income is a financial measure not prescribed by IFRS and is not likely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Management considers this non-IFRS measure to be useful information to assist knowledgeable investors regarding the Company's financial condition and results of operations as it provides an additional measure 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 manufactures and distributes residential lumber and accessories to retailers 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.
Oct. 27, 2017 - Over the past few years, the lumber industry has been confronted with chip production above and beyond the demand, resulting in the creation of big surpluses in various regions of Quebec and Ontario. This situation may well get worse in the coming years, as pulp and paper mills—which used to be large consumers of this resource—buy less and less chips or if there is a substantial increase in production. At the same time, the wood panel manufacturing industry is facing a certain number of challenges relating to the constant supply of raw materials, and particularly with regard to the quantity and quality of the materials.To meet the needs of panel manufacturers that want to diversify their sources of supply as well as respond to the necessity of finding new markets for sawmill residues, FPInnovations has launched a new project aimed at evaluating innovative fragmentation technologies adapted to sawmills that convert small diameter logs for the production of by-products to be used in manufacturing structural and non-structural panels. Within this project, FPInnovations’ Engineered Wood Products Manufacturing team shipped to a European company already using the fragmentation technology sawmill residues in the form of slab wood, trim ends and cull logs from various species and in a variety of shapes and diameters. FPInnovations will evaluate the possibility of fragmenting these logs that are unfit for being processed into lumber in order to use them to make wood wafers of desired dimensions for panel board mills.Thanks to this new approach, wood wafers produced in sawmills may be delivered to panel manufacturers and used directly as raw materials, without any subsequent processing. In addition to offering new opportunities, this approach will help improve the mechanical and physical properties of the panels, while cutting the production costs, through a decrease in the density of the panels and a reduction in the amount of resin-based binder required.This development project aims to offer companies producing wood chips a way of increasing revenue from non-traditional markets. For more information, contact
Oct. 11, 2017 - Do you remember the last time you ate a popsicle? There is a good chance that you were holding on to your icy treat with a wooden stick produced by Quebec company John Lewis Industries. John Lewis provides the vast majority of popsicle sticks to food companies throughout North America.
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