February 11, 2008—Tolko Industries Ltd. today announced an indefinite closure of its oriented strand board (OSB) mill at High Prairie, Alberta, due to poor business conditions.
The High Prairie Division employs 119 people through the mill and related woodlands. Production has been curtailed since December 3, 2007. Affected employees are being provided with various severance options including the opportunity to apply for vacant positions at other Tolko facilities. Some employees will remain onsite to prepare the mill for an extended shut and asset protection.
“This was a difficult but, unfortunately, necessary decision that reflects the dramatic decline of US housing starts, the strong Canadian dollar, and uncompetitive operating costs,” said Brad Thorlakson, President, Tolko Marketing and Sales Ltd. “We regret the impact on our employees and their families.”
“Restart will be considered when there are meaningful and sustainable improvements in the business conditions that prompted this announcement,” said Thorlakson. “These include improved customer demand in key markets, transportation and energy costs, and competitively priced wood supply. In this circumstance, we will explore further capital investment to allow the High Prairie facility to produce higher value products.”
The company will continue to meet customers’ needs through its remaining strand-based operations.
Tolko Industries Ltd. is a private, Canadian-owned forest products company based in Vernon, British Columbia. Tolko is a major producer and marketer of lumber, veneer, plywood, oriented strand board, and kraft papers, with manufacturing operations across Western Canada. The Company’s Woodlands operations have received third-party certification of their sustainable forest management systems. www.tolko.com
Sam Mowat Tolko Marketing and Sales Ltd. General Manager, Marketing & Sales
Sheri Greeno Tolko Industries Ltd. Communications Advisor