WFP Invests $29M in BC Operations

Babita Khunkhun

Western Forest Products Inc. announced capital investments totaling approximately $29 million toward its BC operations. The investments are part of the Company’s ongoing commitment to support value-added manufacturing on the BC Coast and grow its value-added wood products business, all while continuing to improve Western’s long-term competitiveness. These capital investments represent an increase of $13 million over and above the $16 million of capital investments discussed in the Company’s first quarter 2022 Management’s Discussion and Analysis.

Specifically, the investments include:

  • $12.3 million in a new continuous kiln at the Saltair sawmill in Ladysmith, BC, allowing for increased capacity for constant drying of lumber while reducing energy consumption. The sawmill is the largest single-line sawmill on the coast of BC following the previous multi-phase strategic capital investment of over $42 million undertaken to modernize the sawmill since 2013. The facility has three existing kilns on site for drying lumber.
  • $7.9 million at the Duke Point facility in Nanaimo, BC, to optimize the centralized planer facility with new equipment, including a machine stress-rated (“MSR”) lumber grading machine. The MSR machine provides strict lumber grade quality control with known values for strength and stiffness for lumber utilized in engineered products, including roof trusses, glulam, and mass timber. The sawmill and planer have undergone a previous multi-phase strategic capital investment of over $45 million since 2015 to modernize the facility.
  • $8.3 million in other capital investments in the Company’s BC operations, including new kiln control systems at the Saltair sawmill and our Value-Added Division in Chemainus, BC to increase the supply of kiln-dried finished products for customers.

Each of these investments will generate additional value from Western’s wood products. Work on these investment projects is underway and is expected to be completed by 2023.

Western is one of the largest private employers on Vancouver Island, with six sawmills and two remanufacturing plants, providing 3,500 jobs that support nearly 20 healthy and vibrant communities across the province. These operational upgrades are an extension of the Company’s significant investment in value-added manufacturing on the BC. Coast. Since 2013, Western has invested over $450 million throughout its operating platform.

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