CANADA (News release) -- Canfor Corporation will be investing approximately $200 million to build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Houston, British Columbia, Canada. This low cost, high efficiency facility will have an annual production capacity of approximately 350 million board feet.
In January 2023, Canfor began restructuring its operations in British Columbia, permanently closing its sawmill and pellet plant in Chetwynd and temporarily closing its Houston sawmill for an extended period to facilitate a major redevelopment of the facility.
Both facilities were closed following an orderly wind down of operations, reducing the company's annual production capacity by approximately 750 million board feet. At the time, the company said it was considering building a new sawmill.
Don Kayne, President and CEO says: "This decision comes following a comprehensive evaluation of customer requirements and a careful evaluation of the availability of economic fibre in the region to support a successful investment. We believe we have the plan, the people and the know-how to build a best-in-class facility that showcases BC workers, suppliers and technology.
Work will begin immediately on detailed project engineering and permitting requirements. Vendor and equipment selection will be finalized in early 2024 with demolition and site preparation scheduled for the spring. Planning, construction, and commissioning of the new facility is expected to take between 28 and 32 months depending on contractor availability and equipment lead times."
Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests of British Columbia, has released the following statement in response to Canfor's investment in Houston mill operations:
"Forests and forestry are critical to many communities in British Columbia. Today's announcement from Canfor, investing approximately $200 million to build a new manufacturing facility in Houston, is good news, not only for people in the community, but also for forestry workers, labour and industry throughout the province.
"Canfor has been headquartered in B.C. for 85 years, and their decision underscores their commitment to B.C. and to the people of Houston. The new facility will provide good jobs locally, and deliver high-quality, sustainably produced forest products to the world.
"There is no question that we are in a period of transition in the forestry sector, and this announcement represents an important step forward. I am pleased to see Canfor, a company with deep roots in the province and strong partnerships with local First Nations, make this investment.
"For generations, communities throughout B.C. have benefited from good, family-supporting jobs provided by forestry. The news today demonstrates that this continues, and ensures that long-term jobs will remain in the region. It also encourages young people in B.C. to see the opportunities available to them in this vitally important industry.
"Forestry is and will remain a foundation of the B.C. economy, and our government is committed to ensuring that forestry remains a strong and sustainable industry in B.C. I look forward to seeing all that Canfor and the community of Houston are able to achieve with this exciting new investment."