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West Fraser announces additional permanent production cuts in BC

CItes timber supply constraints owing to pine beetles, wildfires and pricing.

June 17, 2019   by PLANT STAFF

VANCOUVER — West Fraser is shutting down its Chasm lumber mill and eliminating the third shift from its 100 Mile House lumber mill, blaming reduced harvesting levels in BC.

The Vancouver-based forest products company said the closures will occur during the third quarter of the year.

The decision is the result of well-documented timber supply constraints owing to BC’s devastating mountain pine beetle infestation, recent record wildfires, price declines in lumber markets and high saw log costs, said Ray Ferris, president and COO.

“As a result of reduced harvesting levels set by the Chief Forester of BC, there is insufficient timber supply to support the current lumber production capacity of the lumber mills in these locations. Today’s decision better aligns West Fraser’s production in the region with current timber supply,” he stated.

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The production curtailments and closures will impact approximately 176 employees at Chasm and approximately 34 employees at 100 Mile House. Lumber production is to be permanently reduced by approximately 314 million board feet . Total temporary and permanent capacity curtailments will involve approximately 125 million and 614 million board feet respectively.

West Fraser produces lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern US.