Wood Business

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San Group, Seaton Forest Products partner to grow value-added BC manufacturing


January 31, 2022
By CFI staff
The Coulson Mill in Port Alberni, purchased by San Group in 2017, sits next to a deep-water port. Photo: Adam Kveton/Annex Business Media.

Vancouver Island’s San Group has signed a lumber-supply agreement with Smithers, B.C.-based Seaton Forest Products that will expand value-added manufacturing in B.C.

The agreement will see San Group produce value-added wood products from waste-wood manufactured cants supplied by Seaton.

“At Seaton we process waste wood logs, logs that are generally burned in the forest, and we turn them into cants,” Andy Thompson, manager at Seaton, said in a news release. “San Group is now taking our cants and turning them into value-added wood products. San Group is fully integrated and has built a world class wood products plant, specialized to create products such as tables, molding, chairs and door frames. In doing this they are breaking the mold. Seaton also prides itself on its philosophy of jobs per metre not metres per job.”

San Group said in the news release the agreement reflects shared company values and a fundamental commitment to utilizing each log harvested.

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“Creating these relationships starts with values and we knew Seaton’s were aligned with ours when they told us that their staff was 75 per cent First Nations and they view working in the forest industry as a responsibility, not a job,” Suki Sanghera, president of San Group, said.

San Group CEO Kamal Sanghera said the company has invested heavily in B.C.’s value-added sector over the past few years, constructing one of North America’s largest value-added manufacturing facilities.

“We went against the grain. People wondered why we would build such a plant in Port Alberni. To us it was simple, value-added manufacturing saves the environment and creates jobs. Let’s start with that and the rest will follow,” Kamal said.

San Group’s plant is designed to turn logs into finished wood products within a seven kilometre radius, which includes two standalone and six integrated facilities in one site.

Read CFI‘s 2020 profile on San Group here.