Plum Creek resumes full production at Columbia Falls, Montana, MDF manufacturing facility following June 10 fire; company estimates cost of damage at US$8-US$10M
July 10, 2014
– Company Donates Funds to Fire Departments
Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. (NYSE:PCL) announced today that production resumed this week at its Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) facility in Columbia Falls, Mont. following a fire that occurred on June 10. The No. 2 production line, which makes between 1/10th- ½-inch continuous-press fiberboard, restarted June 30 and the company began shipping product to customers. The No. 1 production line resumes full production this week. It produces up to 1 1/2–inch fiberboard.
A mechanical failure occurred, causing the fire, which was contained by local fire and safety departments. All employees were safely evacuated and there were no reported injuries.
Tom Ray, vice president, northwest resources and manufacturing, said both the fire response and facility repair efforts were outstanding examples of people working together safely to support common goals, “We are very thankful that all the local fire and safety departments rallied to protect the people working at the facility.” He said that Plum Creek will donate $15,000 to be shared by all the response units that helped fight the fire. “Their work is greatly appreciated and we hope these funds support the important work they provide every day to our community,” he said.
While production ceased at the facility for about three weeks following the fire, the company continued to ship product to customers from existing inventory.
The 183 employees who work at the facility never lost a day of work. All were reassigned to carry out a variety of tasks, including fire watch, cleanup, and repair. In late June, many helped bring production back on line, assisting with equipment testing to ensure it worked safely and met manufacturing standards.
Resumption of normal production concludes a month-long recovery and repair process, which relied on the efforts of both employees and contractors. Damages to the plant are estimated in the $8-10 million range. All major repairs to the facility have been completed, including repairs to computer systems, duct work and upgrades to the fire suppression systems. Scaffolding remains visible on the exterior to the plant while the company replaces sheet metal but these activities will not affect plant production.
Plum Creek operates Montana manufacturing facilities that produce lumber, plywood and MDF. These products are sold to construction, retail, industrial and other specialty markets.
Plum Creek: Managing working forests for stewardship, rural prosperity, and shareholder value.
Plum Creek is among the largest and most geographically diverse private landowners in the United States with timberlands in 19 states, and wood products mills in the Northwest. We manage our lands using sustainable practices to benefit Plum Creek’s many stakeholders. Our talented employees work together to serve as stewards of the environment, make wood products for everyday use, and build strong communities to create shareholder value. For more information, please visit www.plumcreek.com.