Mills
Oct. 13, 2017 - To further secure the supply of quality fibre for Québec sawmills and processors, Solifor continues its expansion outside Québec with the acquisition of Ste-Aurelie Timberlands, a 24,910-hectare forest property in Maine.

The $36 million deal is Solifor's second outside Québec, bringing its out-of-province investments to $65 million.

Located at the border of Maine and Québec, this property, subject to forest management, is characterized by a mixed forest cover (coniferous and hardwood) and is in full development. The territory's main customers and users are Québec companies, including Maibec and Groupe Lebel. Transportation being an important cost for Québec sawmills, this transaction will contribute to a better bottom line. 

"By prioritizing forestry as a sector of excellence, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is showing its clear support for this vital industry and its 160,000 workers," said Janie Béïque, senior vice-president of Natural Resources, Industries, Entertainment and Consumer Goods at Fonds de solidarité FTQ. "This second investment in Maine offers an innovative solution for our forest industry and will drive job creation and preservation here at home."

An initiative of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Solifor has invested $200 million to date to acquire 153,000 hectares of forest land in Québec, more specifically, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Lotbinière, Charlevoix, Saguenay, Portneuf, Mauricie and Abitibi regions, as well as 46,000 hectares in Maine, near the Québec border.

"Solifor is planning other acquisitions to further secure the fibre supply for Québec companies, making it a partner of choice for the Québec forestry industry," said Solifor president Raynald Arial.

It will be recalled that Québec's forest industry is one of the province's four economic sectors of excellence prioritized by the Fonds in its strategic planning.
Oct. 5, 2017 - Cardinal Equipment of Angliers, Que., announced on Wednesday its acquisition of Lanoraie, Quebec-based Sawquip International.

Founded in 1988, Sawquip International designs and manufactures sawmill equipment. Cardinal Equipment specializes in designing, manufacturing and distributing equipment destined to sawmills, forestry, recycling and biomass processing. The company has been in operation since 1980.

"Sawquip International has an enviable reputation in matters of equipment quality," said Cardinal Equipment president Pascal Labranche. "Its products are complementary to the range of products offered or manufactured by Cardinal Equipment."

Sawquip International president Eddy Ste-Croix said it was very important that this transaction be beneficial for his company. This transaction will also be beneficial for the clients, as Ste-Croix will remain in position for the next year, in order to assure the transitional period between the two administrations.

"The entrepreneurial values of Cardinal Equipment are the same as the ones in place at Sawquip International. I am convinced that this transaction will be good for our clients, as they will profit from the structure already being established at Cardinal Equipment," Ste-Croix said.

Cardinal Equipment's sales manager Karie Bernèche said Cardinal's sales department will add the new range of Sawquip products to its catalog.

Sawquip's clients will continue to obtain service at the current location, and Cardinal plans to maintain the existing jobs at Lanoraie.
Oct. 4, 2017 - White River Forest Products is pleased to report that its donation of lumber has arrived in Houston to assist in the rebuilding of 111 Habitat for Humanity homes that were affected by Hurricane Harvey at the end of August.

The community-based Northern Ontario lumber mill quietly took on the challenge laid down by Resolute Forest Products, who donated a rail-car of lumber after Hurricane Harvey and asked other lumber manufacturers to follow suit. Frank Dottori, CEO of White River Forest Products (WRFP), spurred his team to mobilize and send over $20,000 worth of 8 foot 2×4 lumber to Houston to help rebuild.

Bob Schlaegel, a shareholder of WRFP, and the owner of Bedrock Logistics, based in Houston, donated the shipping, noting that he had family who were directly affected by Hurricane Harvey and was aware of the challenges of rebuilding. Bob Giroux, of Soanbert, WRFP’s marketing agent, contributed logistics and organized the transaction.

“When you put yourself in their shoes, it doesn’t take long to realize what you have to do,” said Dottori. “We’re proud of our product, and we wanted to help, so we made it happen…we hope this will turn up the pressure on other lumber companies to follow suit to help the people affected by Mother Nature’s rampages on both coasts, in Florida and in Houston, alike.”

 
Houston Habitat for Humanity is still in the process of gutting many of the homes flooded and destroyed by Harvey. Rebuilding should begin in a few weeks.

“This has been a very emotional time for many Houstonians and this donation of lumber will truly help raise spirits along with going straight to the affected areas,” wrote Matt Murphy, ReStore manager, Houston Habitat for Humanity, in an email to the company. “Many are donating on a national level, which is great, but it is the donations going straight to the local level that have the fastest and largest effect. The city is coming back strong and we couldn’t do it without great partners like [White River Forest Products]. We sincerely thank you and everyone involved on this incredible donation of lumber.”

White River Forest Products (WRFP) is a community-based lumber mill that is owned by private investors, Pic Mobert First Nations and the White River Economic Development Corporation. WRFP is located in Northwestern Ontario in White River. WRFP reopened the mill formerly shuttered by Domtar in 2013, and now employs over 140 people. 

The goal of CEO Frank Dottori, who is also the founder and retired CEO of Canadian forestry giant Tembec, is to make WRFP one of the most efficient mills in North America. A multi-million dollar re-investment program is ongoing and the company is hiring.
Sept. 28, 2017 - CFI tagged along for HewSaw's annual sawmill safari, which this year took North American participants to two top-producing mills in Estonia and four in Finland, including HewSaw's flagship mill, Metsä Wood Vilppula.
Sept. 13, 2017 - Georgia-Pacific is building a new $100-million, state-of-the-art sawmill in Talladega, Ala., the company announced today. 
Sept. 6, 2017 - EACOM has successfully completed the installation of a Wellons continuous dry kiln at its Timmins sawmill, the company announced today.
Aug. 23, 2017 - Valutec has secured one of its largest deals of all time in the Finnish sawmill market. The Keitele Group chose to invest in six continuous kilns for their sawmill in Alajärvi. The higher drying capacity is a part of a major investment program comprising a total of EUR 32 million. With these investments, the Keitele Group’s total production capacity will increase to one million cubic meters per year (423 776 MBF).
Aug. 22, 2017 - It’s time to register as an exhibitor for the 2018 Montréal Wood Convention taking place March 20-22!
Aug. 21, 2017 - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved West Fraser's acquisition of six sawmills and a finger-joint mill from the Howard Gilman Foundation and other shareholders. 
Aug. 11, 2017 - The mill in Ignace, Ont., an almost three-hour drive northwest of Thunder Bay, is more than just a modern sawmill. For the town of about 1,200, Resolute Forest Products is one of its biggest employers.
Aug. 3, 2017 - Just off the winding Sea to Sky Highway running along the coast from Vancouver to Whistler, B.C., the unique wooden architecture of the Squamish Adventure Centre beckons tourists to stop in.
July 31, 2017 - West Fraser is adding seven new U.S. operations including six sawmills and a finger-joint mill in Florida and Georgia as part of the company's acquisition of Gilman Companies. 
July 28, 2017 - Western Forest Products Inc. announced Wednesday the indefinite curtailment of its Somass Sawmill, located in Port Alberni, B.C. The Somass Sawmill has been temporarily curtailed since February 2017, prior to which it operated on a single shift basis. Western intends to offer voluntary severance to its Somass Sawmill hourly employees.

The difficult decision to indefinitely curtail operations is in response to the lack of log supply to operate the mill efficiently, as well as the uncertainty caused by duties recently applied to Canadian softwood lumber products sold into the United States. Western is focused on reducing costs to remain competitive. Cost reductions will be delivered through operational consolidation. The company expects to offset lost production from Somass by increasing production at its other operations on Vancouver Island.

"We have made the announcement to provide clarity and options for our Somass employees. We will be encouraging employees to explore opportunities for employment at Western's other sawmills on Vancouver Island," said Don Demens, president and chief executive officer of Western. "Western is committed to creating the most competitive specialty softwood lumber manufacturing business possible. We have invested over $300 million on the coast of B.C. since 2012, including $100 million in moderni zing our Vancouver Island manufacturing facilities, and we remain focused on ensuring the long-term viability of our business for the benefit of our employees, shareholders, and the communities in which we operate."
July 17, 2017 - Canfor has temporarily closed its Vavenby sawmill and suspended logging operations in the area due to the worsening wildfire situation in B.C.
July 14, 2017 - Bonfield, Ont., is the chosen site of a new sawmill proposed by International Wood Industries (IWI), which plans to invest $140 million into the project. The facility will include a mill to process hard and softwood as well as produce value-added products, and a pellet plant for the residuals. 
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