Conifex cut­ting pro­duc­tion in Fort St. James

The Prince George Citizen - - Local - Cit­i­zen staff

Cit­ing log costs and cur­rent lum­ber mar­ket con­di­tions, Conifex Tim­ber Inc. said Fri­day it will be cut­ting back pro­duc­tion its Fort St. James sawmill start­ing in the new year.

About 70 em­ploy­ees will be laid off as a re­sult and comes af­ter a two-week cur­tail­ment in Novem­ber.

The cur­tail­ment is ex­pected to con­tinue un­til about mid-2019 and will re­duce the com­pany’s B.C. lum­ber pro­duc­tion by 25 per cent.

“Mov­ing to a sin­gle line con­fig­u­ra­tion at Fort St. James in Q1 and Q2 low­ers cash pro­duc­tion costs and helps mit­i­gate the com­bined im­pact of fibre sup­ply is­sues and low lum­ber prices,” said Conifex chair and CEO Ken Shields in a stat­ment.

“This is a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion but we be­lieve it’s the best option for on­go­ing sus­tain­abil­ity at Fort St. James given cur­rent mar­ket con­di­tions.

“We will be seek­ing to mit­i­gate the im­pacts on our em­ploy­ees as much as pos­si­ble.”

Conifex ex­pects that a ma­jor­ity of its lum­ber pro­duc­tion will be sourced from the lower-cost U.S. South sup­ply re­gion in the first half of 2019, the com­pany added.

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