British Columbia's Cheslatta Forest Products up and running for the first time since October 2008
BURNS LAKE, British Columbia
August 11, 2009
(Lakes District News)
– Cheslatta Forest Products Ltd.(CFPL) mill is up and running.
As of last Tuesday the planer mill is up and running and according to Mike Robertson, senior policy advisor for the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, the planer mill should run at full for at least two months.
“This is good news for the members of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, the mill is up and running,” he said.
“This is also good news for the Southside,” he added.
According to Robertson there are four, ten hour shifts that are currently operational
“There is currently 25 million board feet of lumber sitting in the yard ready to process,” he added.
The start up of the mill will see employment for approximately 20 people.
“We are providing work again for our members, this is the first time since October 2008 that the mill has been up and running, so we are happy,” Robertson said.
“We have $55 million worth of inventory sitting in the yard and we plan to plain half of it this year,” Robertson said.
All of our timber that CFPL holds in the yard is air dried so, according to Robertson it can only sit for a couple of years before it has to be milled.
“It has now become necessary for us to mill most of what we have.”
As for the current downturn in the lumber markets Robertson is hopeful that things will get better sooner rather than later.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed that the price of lumber increases,” he said.
CFPL is an independent mill and according to Robertson this is an ideal situation which creates the ability for the mill to start and stop operations when needed.
“We are open on a market basis,” said Robertson adding that there is absolutely no truth to the rumours that CFPL will be, or has shut down permanently.
“Operations were only temporarily suspended,” Robertson said.
When running at full capacity CFPL can process 85 million board feet of lumber per year and employ 140 people, including the logging, hauling and processing of the timber.