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Tolko aims to reopen High Prairie OSB mill by end of Q4 next year

September 27, 2022  By CFI staff

Tolko High Prairie division. Photo: Annex Business Media.

Tolko’s High Prairie team is continuing its clean-up and rebuilding efforts following a press fire in May that shut down the OSB mill and destroyed much of its equipment.

Tolko plans to rebuild on the existing site and replace the damaged press line. The project is in the preliminary engineering phase. The company says an early estimate is that the mill will see its first new board before the end of Q4 2023.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team at High Prairie and I’m happy that we’ve been able to keep everyone fully employed,” says Fred Chinn, Tolko’s vice-president of strand based business. “We’ll do everything we can to keep employees active during the rebuilding, and I’m so impressed with the heart and commitment that I’ve seen from everyone.”

In its latest update, Tolko says the old press has been removed. Crews will begin reconstructing the building soon to allow the team to prepare the plant for the new press during the winter months.


Work is also underway on several upgrading projects and maintenance work unrelated to the fire, including installation of equipment repurposed from Tolko’s decommissioned Kelowna mill.

The Alberta government has been “very supportive,” Tolko said, and stressed the importance of the ongoing relationship to maintain a viable fibre supply to the mill.

“We’re pleased to hear about the progress Tolko’s made toward returning their High Prairie mill to full operations,” says Nate Horner, Alberta’s forestry minister. “Forest companies like Tolko play a vital role in maintaining stable local jobs and supporting the wider regional economy. We look forward to seeing their rebuilding plans realized in the near future. Government stands by Alberta’s forest industry partners to ensure a healthy and vibrant sector.”

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