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Canfor to permanently close Chetwynd sawmill and pellet plant

Houston sawmill to close for an extended period to allow for "major redevelopment"
Chetwynd pellet plant

Canfor Corporation will be permanently closing its Chetwynd sawmill and pellet plant, the company said Wednesday, as part of a plan to better align manufacturing capacity in British Columbia with the available long-term fibre supply.

It will also be closing its Houston sawmill for an extended period to put it through a major redevelopment with both closures to have occurred by early in the second quarter of this year. A final investment decision on the Houston renovation is to be made by the end of the second quarter.

"We are making these difficult but necessary decisions to create a more sustainable operating footprint in B.C.," Canfor president and CEO Don Kayne said in the statement. "Our goal is to match our mill capacity with the economically available fibre for harvest to enhance our ability to compete and to operate throughout the market cycles."

Kayne said the company has invested $2.1 billion in its B.C. operations over the last decade.

"The Houston investment would represent another significant commitment and be amongst the largest capital expenditures in a new wood products manufacturing facility in B.C.’s interior in two decades," he said.

He said the company will be working with industry partners and Indigenous Nations to ensure that fibre currently processed at the Chetwynd facility will be sent to local and regional manufacturing facilities, "helping them to be more sustainable and to keep people working in the Peace Region."