Wood Business

Features Mills Sawmilling
WFP to consolidate mills

Oct. 6, 2014, Vancouver - Western Forest Products will consolidate its Nanaimo-area sawmill operations, as the company's $10 million investment to modernize its Duke Point Sawmill nears completion.

The consolidation will increase lumber production at both of the Company's Duke Point and Saltair sawmills, and will result in the closure of the Nanaimo Sawmill Division. Employees at the Nanaimo sawmill will be offered employment at the company's other mills, along with severance in accordance with terms under the existing collective agreement with the United Steelworkers. The company anticipates that the permanent closure of the Nanaimo sawmill will occur prior to the end of the year. This timing will coincide with the ramp up of production at Duke Point and Saltair.

"The investments being made at Duke Point and the consolidation of our Nanaimo sawmill operations are expected to reduce costs, improve our flexibility to produce different grades of lumber, and increase our recovery factors from log to lumber," said Don Demens, Western's President and CEO.

"The announcement today is consistent with our strategy of building a globally competitive, sustainable business on the coast of British Columbia. This strategy involves the evaluation of new market programs and operating configurations designed to improve our operating results."

"I am pleased we are able to improve our competitiveness and at the same time achieve a smooth transition for our Nanaimo sawmill employees. We will work collaboratively with the United Steelworkers to make this possible," said Demens.