West Fraser, one of the largest timber producers in the world, has announced that it will permanently reduce production in British Columbia (Canada). Specifically affected is production at the Fraser Lake and Williams Lake sawmills. This is to be permanently reduced by a total of about 170 mio board feet (about 52 mio board metres), and plywood production at the Quesnel Plywood mill is to be permanently reduced by about 85 mio square feet (about 26 mio square metres). The cuts will be realised by eliminating one shift at each mill, the company said.
"Access to available wood is an increasing challenge in British Columbia," the company writes. Further, ongoing transportation constraints have impacted the company's ability to reliably reach markets, it said. The capacity reductions now announced are necessary to better align West Fraser's operating capacity with available timber and transportation availability, it said.
It said the capacity reductions are expected to affect 77 positions at the Fraser Lake sawmill, 15 positions at Williams Lake Lumber and 55 positions at Quesnel Plywood and will take place during the fourth quarter of 2022. The company expects to mitigate the impact on affected employees by providing job opportunities at other West Fraser operations.