Carrier Forest Products' plan to develop sawmill, planer mill near Big River, Saskatchewan, demonstrates resurgence of region's forest industry, says premier
August 4, 2011
– Premier Brad Wall says a new sawmill and planer mill development near Big River is the latest example of the resurgence Saskatchewan has seen in its forest industry.
The premier was in Big River today to announce that Carrier Forest Products Ltd. will re-establish a mill complex near the town.
The sawmill and planer mill development will employ up to 110 people directly when running at capacity and create many more jobs in harvesting, hauling and reforestation. The mill start-up is expected to coincide with the re-opening of the Prince Albert Pulp Mill next year.
"Carrier is one of the most respected and well established companies in Saskatchewan's forest industry," Wall said. "We're delighted that it is bringing a sawmill operation back to Big River and providing jobs and economic opportunities to the community once again. This announcement builds on the forestry momentum we've seen over the last 20 months with new owners for the mills in Carrot River and Hudson Bay and, more recently, a new owner for the Prince Albert Pulp Mill."
"Our forest industry went through some challenging times, but businesses and investors are clearly upbeat now about the industry's future."
"Carrier is excited about re-establishing a mill complex near Big River and would like to recognize the support and commitment of Minister Bill Boyd, MLA Nadine Wilson and Big River Mayor Brian Brownfield," Carrier President and CEO Bill Kordyban said. "The Saskatchewan forest industry has a bright future ahead, and Carrier looks forward to being an integral part of it."
A Weyerhaeuser-run sawmill operated in Big River until 2006, when a number of mills in the province and across North America shut down. A more favourable climate now exists for forestry in the province, and Carrier's operation is expected to create a major forest products processing centre near Big River as well as act as a major supplier of wood chip feedstock to the Prince Albert Pulp Mill once it reopens.
Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd was also at the announcement. He praised the work of Mayor Brownfield and the Big River Area Forestry Committee in helping encourage this development.
"The mayor and community leaders were relentless in their efforts to see a sawmill presence back in Big River," Boyd said. "Their commitment certainly played a role in Carrier's investment decision, a decision that speaks to the new confidence our industry has as it competes in new global markets with new value-added products."