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May 21, 2019

Norbord suspends production at northern Alberta mill due to wildfires

High Level, Alta.

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TORONTO - Norbord Inc. (OSB.TO) says it plans to indefinitely suspend operations at its mill in 100 Mile House, B.C., because of “extraordinary circumstances” in the region.

The wood products company says the planned August curtailment will affect about 160 employees at the oriented stand board mill.

The company says the combination of the pine beetle epidemic and major forest fires have created wood supply shortages and pushed up log prices to make the mill uneconomic.

The mill, which is the company's only B.C. operation, has an annual production capacity of 440 million square feet.

B.C.'s forestry sector has been hit with a wave of short-term curtailments as well as full mill closures from the combination of low lumber prices and high input costs.

On Monday, Canfor Corp. said it would curtail operations at all of its B.C. mills, except its WynnWood operations, for between two and six weeks because of the challenging market conditions.