High Prairie, AB — Tolko’s High Prairie team is continuing to work hard on the clean-up effort following the serious press fire that occurred at the mill on May 20, 2022. The damage to the press and press building was significant, and much of the equipment was a total loss.
The good news is that Tolko will be rebuilding the site and replacing the existing press line. The project is still in the preliminary engineering phase, so timelines may shift, but the early estimate is that the mill will see the first new board before the end of Q4 2023.
“I’m incredibly proud of the team at High Prairie and I’m happy that we’ve been able to keep everyone fully employed,” says Fred Chinn, Tolko’s VP, Strand Based Business. “We’ll do everything we can to keep employees active during the rebuilding, and I’m so impressed with the heart and commitment that I’ve seen from everyone.”
The old press has been removed and crews will be reconstructing the building for the winter months so that work on preparing the plant for the new press can begin. Along with the repairs, there are several upgrading projects unrelated to the fire and significant maintenance work underway on site. This includes the recent installation of equipment that was repurposed from Tolko’s decommissioned Kelowna mill.
The Alberta government is being very supportive, and the ongoing relationship is key to ensuring that a viable fibre supply continues to be available to support Tolko’s operations in the province.
“We’re pleased to hear about the progress Tolko’s made toward returning their High Prairie mill to full operations,” says Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development. “Forest companies like Tolko play a vital role in maintaining stable local jobs and supporting the wider regional economy. We look forward to seeing their rebuilding plans realized in the near future. Government stands by Alberta’s forest industry partners to ensure a healthy and vibrant sector.”
Once we rebuild, High Prairie will be better than ever; and we at Tolko look forward to continuing to look after our employees, customers, and the community.
For more information, contact:
Chris Downey, Communications Advisor
Tolko Industries Ltd.