Grand Forks upgrade ahead of schedule
Grand Forks sawmill employees will be taking a three-week unscheduled vacation starting Nov. 10 as International Forest Products Ltd. (Interfor) completes mill upgrades ahead of schedule.
By John Tenpenny
When the mill re-opens in early December, Interfor anticipates that they will see a 10 percent increase in production, president and chief executive officer Duncan Davies told The Castlegar Source. Along with the capital improvements, they will be able to scale back from three shifts in the mill to two and still realize the increased production, he added.
“We’re very excited about the Grand Forks projects, as we are with the projects that have been achieved in Castlegar, and the work that has been done there in the past year,” said Davies. “I’d like to thank our capital projects group and the management crews at both mills for their contributions to the company.”
With the $27 million in investments into the Grand Forks mill over the past two years, Interfor’s key goals have been cost reduction, timber recovery improvement and the ability to have flexibility in their products. In September the mill was closed for two weeks to allow for a major paving project to take place, and in 2011 both Castlegar and Grand Forks planer operations saw linear high graders installed to maximize the value of the timber. Overall production has been up 12 percent, said Davies.
In Castlegar there were fewer projects completed totally about $5 million, but Davies noted they upgraded the scanning systems as well allowing for increased lumber recovery.
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