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Canfor curtailing Prince George pulp mill for three weeks due to COVID-19

Three other northern B.C. company mills in same scenario
(via Facebook/Canfor)

Canfor is taking action in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19), doing so by curtailing a number of its mills across northern B.C.

This includes the Northwood Pulp Mill in Prince George, which will see a three-week curtailment during what would have been a temporary shutdown of the facility for extended Spring maintenance.

The company expects a 35,000-tonne loss in northern bleached softwood kraft pulp production as economic uncertainty is already a concern, but CEO Don Kayne says the higher priority is keeping employees, contractors and their families safe.

“At the same time, we are responding to volatility in the marketplace and reduced fibre availability, and taking necessary steps to protect the business,” he adds in a news release.

Meanwhile, three northern B.C. sawmills will feel COVID-19’s pinch for three weeks starting Monday (March 30).

Canfor Corp.’s Houston, Plateau and Isle Pierre locations will be curtailed until April 17 due to growing concerns of the virus, which the company says will be a loss of 70 million board feet.

“These curtailments and variable operating rates will be assessed weekly and adjusted as needed in response to rapidly evolving market conditions, changes in customer demand and the state of the COVID-19 response globally,” reads a separate release.

These announcements come a day after West Fraser decided to curtail its B.C. operations for one week.

In all scenarios, Canfor says it’s implementing recommendations by public health officials to keep everybody safe, including travel restrictions, mandating self-isolation for returned travellers and any employees exhibiting symptoms or exposed to the virus.

Mental health services are also being provided to support workers during these stressful and unusual times.

For more information, you can visit Canfor's website.