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Canfor announces six month curtailment at Polar sawmill

The company says the curtailment is due to a shortage of economically available fibre

Canfor announced it will curtail operations at its Polar sawmill located in Bear Lake, north of Prince George.

The curtailment is the result of a shortage of economically available fibre in the region and is expected to be in place for a period of approximately six months after current operations are wrapped up.

The company says it will continue to evaluate market conditions and fibre availability in the region and adjust operations accordingly.

“Unfortunately, BC is amongst the highest cost operating jurisdictions in the world. With persistent weak market conditions and a shortage of cost-competitive fibre in the region, we simply don’t have enough economic fibre to support both of our Prince George-area mills through this winter. As a result, we are making the difficult decision to curtail operations at Polar to ensure continued operations at our other facilities in the region,” said Stephen Mackie, executive vice president, North American operations.

“We know this will have significant impacts on our Polar employees, their families, our suppliers and the local community, who all rely on a healthy forest industry. We regret having to take this action and are committed to supporting our employees and their families during this difficult time. We will also continue to encourage government to work with industry, Indigenous partners and communities to address the challenges and uncertainty the industry is facing in accessing fibre in BC – fibre that supports thousands of manufacturing jobs and creates the low-carbon products the world wants.”

The curtailment will remove approximately 140 million board feet of production over six months.