British Columbia's forests minister marks Western Forest Products' C$16M investment at Saltair mill; retrofit will increase capacity, enable production to Japanese specifications

LADYSMITH, British Columbia , February 13, 2012 (press release) – Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson joined Lee Doney of Western Forest Products today in the company's announcement to upgrade its Saltair mill.

In fall 2011, Western Forest Products announced its plan to invest $200 million in its Vancouver Island operations. An upgrade to the Saltair sawmill, worth $16 million, is the first step in Western's capital plan to position the company for the future. The upgrade includes new edgers, stacker and sorters designed to increase mill productivity by 15 per cent.

The retrofit is expected to take one year and will provide jobs for contractors and suppliers who specialize in mill infrastructure upgrades. The mill will continue running while the retrofit takes place.

Quick Facts:

  • The Saltair mill currently produces approximately 160 million board feet per year, from hemlock, fir and cedar. After the improvements, the mill will be able to process over 200 million board feet.
  • The mill ships product to Japan, China, North America, Europe and Australia.
  • There are 140 jobs at the mill which will be protected by the capital investment.
  • The new edger will allow 4x8s and 4x12s to be cut into 4x4s on site, which is the product of choice for Japan.
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