Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 06 October 2014 -- (Marketwired) -- Western Forest Products Inc. (WEF.TO) ("Western" or the "Company") announced today the consolidation of its Nanaimo-area sawmill operations, as the Company's $10 million investment to modernize its Duke Point Sawmill nears completion.
The consolidation will increase lumber production at both of the Company's Duke Point and Saltair sawmills, and will result in the closure of the Nanaimo Sawmill Division. Employees at the Nanaimo sawmill will be offered employment at the Company's other mills, along with severance in accordance with terms under the existing collective agreement with the United Steelworkers. The Company anticipates that the permanent closure of the Nanaimo sawmill will occur prior to the end of the year. This timing will coincide with the ramp up of production at Duke Point and Saltair.
"The investments being made at Duke Point and the consolidation of our Nanaimo sawmill operations are expected to reduce costs, improve our flexibility to produce different grades of lumber, and increase our recovery factors from log to lumber," said Don Demens, Western's President and CEO.
"The announcement today is consistent with our strategy of building a globally competitive, sustainable business on the coast of British Columbia. This strategy involves the evaluation of new market programs and operating configurations designed to improve our operating results."
"I am pleased we are able to improve our competitiveness and at the same time achieve a smooth transition for our Nanaimo sawmill employees. We will work collaboratively with the United Steelworkers to make this possible," said Demens.
Western Forest Products Inc.
Western is an integrated Canadian forest products company and the largest coastal British Columbia woodland operator and lumber producer with an annual available harvest of approximately 6.4 million cubic metres of timber of which approximately 6.2 million cubic metres is from Crown lands and lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet from eight sawmills and two remanufacturing plants. Principal activities conducted by the Company include timber harvesting, reforestation, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips and value-added remanufacturing. Substantially all of Western's operations, employees and corporate facilities are located in the coastal region of British Columbia while its products are sold in over 25 countries worldwide.
Forward-Looking Statements and Information
This press release contains statements which constitute forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Those statements and information appear in a number of places in this document and include statements and information regarding our current intent, belief or expectations primarily with respect to market and general economic conditions, future costs, expenditures, available harvest levels and our future operating performance, objectives and strategies. Such statements and information may be indicated by words such as "estimate", "expect", "anticipate", "plan", "intend", "believe", "should", "may" and similar words and phrases. Readers are cautioned that it would be unreasonable to rely on any such forward-looking statements and information as creating any legal rights, and that the statements and information are not guarantees and may involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, and that actual results and objectives and strategies may differ or change from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements or information as a result of various factors. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others: general economic conditions, competition and selling prices, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, labour disruptions, natural disasters, relations with First Nations groups, changes in laws, regulations or public policy, misjudgments in the course of preparing forward-looking statements or information, changes in opportunities and other factors referenced under the "Risks and Uncertainties" section of our MD&A in our 2013 Annual Report dated February 20, 2014. All written and oral forward-looking statements or information attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. Except as required by law, Western does not expect to update forward-looking statements or information as conditions change.