VERNON, British Columbia – Tolko Industries announced today that it will permanently close its Nicola Valley (Merritt, B.C.) operation on December 16th, 2016.
“Making the decision to close an operation is never easy,” said Brad Thorlakson, President and CEO. “Following the recent reduction in the Annual Allowable Cut as a result of the completion of the Mountain Pine Beetle harvest, an extensive review of the wood supply for all of our Southern Interior operations was conducted. Based on this review, we have determined there is not enough timber to supply all of our mills. This has resulted in the decision to permanently close our Nicola operation.”
Thorlakson noted that the closure of the mill will result in the removal of 250 million board feet of capacity from the lumber market. However, he offered assurance that Tolko Industries, the company his family has owned since 1956, remains well positioned for future success. “We are focused on making decisions that ensure our long term success. As a company, we are very well positioned due to our geographic and product diversification.”
Mike Harkies, Executive Vice President of Solid Wood added that employees have been informed of the decision. “Today we have issued notice to employees, and we are working through the details of a transition package,” he said. “We anticipate full details to be available to employees the week of October 10th.”
Pino Pucci, Vice President Sales, Marketing and Logistics, reaffirmed Tolko’s commitment to customers. “Our remaining lumber operations are performing very well and we are well equipped to fulfill our commitment to customers now and for the future.”
Tolko purchased the Nicola Valley operation in 1987. The operation currently employs 203 people.