Interfor to permanently close Hammond sawmill in Maple Ridge
Interfor has announced a plan to reconfigure its B.C. Coastal business, including the permanent closure of its Hammond sawmill, located in Maple Ridge, B.C., and the reorganization of its forestry and woodlands operations.
This plan is expected to result in the repatriation of working capital tied up at Hammond, the monetization of related real estate and improved results in the years ahead.
“We recognize the impact this decision will have on our employees who have contributed so much to the business over the years,” said Duncan Davies, Interfor’s president and CEO. “We will be working closely with them to mitigate the impacts of the closure and to identify job opportunities at other Interfor mills as well as outside the company.
“The Coastal B.C. forest industry has faced significant log supply challenges over the past two decades and manufacturing capacity needs to be brought into line with available log supply,” said Davies. “Cedar producers have also been disproportionately impacted by duties on shipments into the United States as a result of the softwood lumber dispute.”
The Hammond sawmill, which was built in 1963, has a two-shift capacity of approximately 150 million board feet per year, but has been operating on a one-shift basis for some years due to log supply constraints and other factors. The closure is expected to be completed in Q4-2019, after the mill’s remaining log and lumber inventories are processed and shipped.
The company’s B.C. Coastal forestry and woodlands operations will be reorganized to focus on value realization rather than operational integration with Hammond. In addition, the company will explore opportunities to increase the supply of logs for its Acorn sawmill, located in Delta, B.C.
RELATED: Read CFI‘s 2014 profile of Hammond sawmill.