OSB Athabasca back in production
By Andrew Macklin
Jan. 17, 2014, Slave Lake, Alta. – Over four years after the plant was shuttered, OSB Athabasca in Slave Lake is back to producing boards.
The plant was originally closed in 2009 following the downturn in the North American housing market. In February of 2013, Tolko announced that they would re-open the mill and make significant investment in order to create a more efficient and productive mill. Just 10 months later, in December of 2013, OSB Athabasca produced its first board.
There have been major upgrades made to the facility since it last produced boards back in 2009. For starters, the in-feed system has been completely re-designed in order to produce a more efficient system for getting logs into the debarkers more efficiently. They have also added a system that allows the mill to produce OSB boards for roof sheathing, opening up a new market not available previously.
Perhaps the biggest change has been the installation of a new press system. The new system is 72m long, making it the longest press in an OSB mill anywhere in North America. Siempelkamp, a German company that specializes in customized production machinery, manufactured the new press system.
With the additions made to the plant, OSB Athabasca has a stronger position in the industry due to its new range of diversified products.
For more on OSB Athabasca, look for our feature story on the mill in the March/April edition of Canadian Forest Industries magazine.