New Brunswick DNR increases Miramichi Lumber Products' Crown wood alloction by 30% to 47,320 m3, expects decision to add 50 jobs

LOS ANGELES , May 17, 2011 () – Miramichi Lumber Products in Newcastle, New Brunswick, has been granted a 30% increase to its Crown wood allocation - an additional 47,320 m3 of wood, the New Brunswick Business Journal reported on May 17.

Premier David Alward pledged during his election campaign last fall to ensure that more wood being cut in the province was processed locally. Currently, about 40% of New Brunswick's allowable annual cut of Crown wood is harvested within a 100 km radius of the city of Miramichi, but less than 4% is processed in the area.

The increased allocation will allow the company to create roughly 50 direct jobs at the mill and 100 indirect jobs in the local forestry sector by the end of the summer.

Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup said the main reason for the allocation is that the company will create jobs. He said he was approached by the Progressive Conservative contingent of Miramichi MLAs several weeks ago on the subject of assisting the mill.

A newly-formed group called 1 Voice Miramichi, consisting of economic development officials, Enterprise Miramichi, Miramichi Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Miramichi, supported the call for increasing Miramichi Lumber's allocation.

Chamber of commerce president Hal Somers said the announcement was great news and would add eight weeks of production per year at the mill.

Miramichi Lumber Products CFO Hal Raper said the increase in allocation, mostly consisting of spruce, represents 60% of the 41% increase the company requested. He added that the mill had been relying heavily on private wood for its supply and expanding the Crown license was seen as a necessity.

He said the extra wood would allow the opening of a planer mill and kiln facility in the neighboring village of Blackville.

Raper thanked the Northumberland Forest Products Marketing Board and the Northumberland Woodlot Association for their assistance and support throughout the process.

The primary source of this article is the New Brunswick Business Journal, Miramichi, New Brunswick, on May 17, 2011.

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