B.C. announces funding for 6 wood product manufacturers
January 18, 2024 By CFI Staff
New funding for six wood-product manufacturers and two fabricated-metal manufacturers will create and protect hundreds of resource-sector jobs for people and strengthen B.C.’s value-added wood sector and local economies.
“Forestry jobs support families across the province, including in smaller and rural communities. By helping companies get more jobs per tree through manufacturing here at home, we’re supporting a brighter future for forest workers,” said Premier David Eby. “The latest round of jobs secured through the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF) will get more people working on innovative equipment, producing new value-added wood products and reaching new markets so they can pay the mortgage, support their families and strengthen their local community.”
The Government of B.C. is contributing as much as $8.6 million through the BCMJF to fund eight new capital projects to help manufacturers grow and diversify their operations through new production lines, equipment and innovative technology, setting the stage for long-term sustainability while establishing new jobs and preserving existing positions.
“Natural resources helped build this incredible province and the local economies that are the foundation of B.C.,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “The BCMJF helps B.C.’s forest-sector operators modernize and adopt the new, innovative technologies that get more jobs out of every tree harvested, while creating secure, sustainable jobs in forestry.”
San Industries Ltd., a vertically integrated forestry company that produces value-added and engineered wood products, will receive as much as $2.5 million to support purchasing new equipment, optimizing its processing line and constructing a new storage facility at its Port Alberni plant. These upgrades will significantly increase the efficiency of its operations with an innovative process that creates engineered cedar products using ultra-thin sheets of veneer. This will allow San Industries to use a fraction of the fibre and produce less waste as compared to conventional wood products. The project will enable better use of diversified fibre sources in creating value-added products and help it enter new international markets, while creating 30 jobs.
“San Group will allocate BCMJF funds to advance its Port Alberni value-added plant. This infusion enables increased wood product manufacturing, fostering heightened production and bolstered environmental sustainability,” said Kamal Sanghera, president, San Industries Ltd. “The investment serves as a pivotal step towards enhancing operational efficiency while aligning with San Group’s commitment to responsible and eco-friendly business practices.”
Richmond Plywood Corp. Ltd., which has been operating for more than 60 years in Richmond, is receiving as much as $2.3 million to purchase and install new, innovative equipment to enhance its value-added manufacturing processes using second-growth fibre and waste wood. This will improve the company’s product quality and operational efficiency, reduce reliance on old-growth fibre and reduce its carbon footprint, allowing it to produce high-quality, value-added plywood products and use any remaining residual wood waste to power its facility. The capital project will result in Richmond Plywood upskilling 24 employees to higher-paid, skilled positions and will create 14 jobs at the company.
“BCMJF funding is crucial as the need for value-added plywood is increasing rapidly. By aligning Richmond Plywood’s production processes with the B.C. government’s goals and policies around forestry, we can ensure the sustainability of 400-plus jobs and the creation of 14 additional new jobs,” said Bhavjit Thandi, CFO, Richmond Plywood Corp. Ltd. “Through our investments into new, safer and innovative technology, those currently at Richmond Plywood will wholly benefit from this project, contributing to long-term, well-paying secure jobs in the region.”
The $180-million BCMJF supports high-value industrial and manufacturing capital projects that will lead to well-paying jobs and economic benefits for B.C. communities, while driving clean and inclusive growth throughout the province.
Funding through the BCMJF is part of a series of programs the province has introduced to support the growth of value-added manufacturing in B.C.’s forestry sector. In January 2023, the Ministry of Forests introduced a new value-added manufacturing program to establish a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers. The Province is working with the value-added manufacturing sector to increase the flow of fibre and find ways to expand local production of high-value wood products. A strong value-added manufacturing industry diversifies the forestry sector, creating new jobs and protecting existing jobs and buffering against global market challenges.
Building resilient economies is part of the Province’s work through the StrongerBC Economic Plan to build a strong and sustainable economy through clean and inclusive growth. Supporting B.C.’s manufacturing sectors helps build a more innovative economy for people, businesses and communities throughout B.C.
Here are more wood products manufacturers receiving funds from the BCMJF:
- Lax Kw’alaams – Coast Tsimshian Resources LP is a forestry company fully owned by the Lax Kw’alaams Band. It will receive as much as $970,000 for the acquisition of an industrial chipper and peripherals, which will allow increased the utilization of its fibre basket, while decreasing residual wood waste. It will ultimately create a new business stream for Lax Kw’alaams Band, while creating 108 direct and indirect jobs;
- Revelstoke – Downie Timber Ltd. is a lumber-milling and remanufacturing wood processor. It will receive as much as $825,000 to purchase and commission a new debarker system, alongside facility upgrades that will enable the company to reduce reliance on old-growth fibre and optimize operations, while protecting 229 existing jobs within the company;
- Chilliwack – Yarrow Wood (2012) Inc. is a lumber remanufacturer, providing custom square and rectangular lumber remanufacturing for forestry companies. It will receive as much as $130,000 to upgrade equipment that will support profiling lumber in-house, including its moulder, infeed/outfeed and blower system, which will allow it to process a wider variety of value-added wood products using a broader scope of log species and creates as many as seven jobs; and
- Cobble Hill – C.W. Creative Woodcraft Ltd. is a cabinet and millwork manufacturer specializing in using local, second-growth fibre. It will receive as much as $286,000 in funding to support the expansion of its existing facility and the acquisition of new machinery to double its production capacity, optimize production, reduce waste and create as many as 14 jobs.
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