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Canfor to shut one production line at Northwood Mill in Prince George

Canfor currently operates two pulp production lines at its Northwood facility
Canfor announced on May 9 it will be curtailing one production line at the Northwood Pulp Mill in Prince George indefinitely. (Canfor photo)

Canfor Pulp Products announced the indefinite curtailment of one production line at its Northwood facility in Prince George, owing to the lack of fibre supply.

Canfor currently operates two pulp production lines at its Northwood facility and one production line at its nearby Intercon facility. The Company will continue to operate both lines at Northwood over the next few weeks, followed by an orderly wind-down process of one line at the beginning of the third quarter.

This reduction in capacity will impact approximately 220 jobs across Canfor Pulp, the company announced in a May 9 statement.

Canfor said the decision comes in response to the dwindling availability of economic fibre in the northern BC region, leading to a reduction of approximately 300,000 tonnes of market kraft pulp annually.

“While the region has a substantive supply of sustainably grown timber, harvest levels are well below the Allowable Annual Cut partly due to natural disturbances, but increasingly because of the impact of a range of policy choices and regulatory complexity,” said Kevin Edgson, President and CEO, Canfor Pulp.

Edgson said the persistent shortage of economic fibre, particularly in the Prince George region, has led to the closure or curtailment of a number of sawmills, which in turn has dramatically reduced the volume of chips available to meet the needs of their pulp operations.

With the reduction of one line at Northwood, Canfor Pulp will have total annual capacity of 480,000 tonnes of market pulp. Canfor Pulp’s Specialty Paper facility in Prince George will continue to operate with a total annual capacity of 140,000 tonnes of kraft paper.

On the same day, Canfor also announced it will be abandoning it’s plans to replace its closed mill in Houston while also closing its Polar sawmill in Bear Lake for good.

READ MORE: Canfor cancels plans to replace its Houston sawmill