February 13, 2009—In response to ongoing poor business conditions, Tolko Industries Ltd. announced that its engineered wood plant in Slave Lake, Alberta, will close indefinitely. Production will cease February 13, 2009.
Employees will be retained as needed to prepare the mill for an extended shut and to ensure asset protection for future restart.
“The ramp up of any large-scale facility is difficult at any time,” said Brad Thorlakson, President, Tolko Marketing and Sales Ltd. “Athabasca Division had the additional challenge of coming online during a market down cycle unprecedented in its severity and duration.”
The announcement affects 112 direct employees. “We recognize the strong efforts of the Tolko Athabasca employees to withstand these challenges and regret the impact of this announcement on them and their families,” said Thorlakson.
“We also appreciate the loyalty of our customers throughout this difficult period,” said Thorlakson. “While we look forward to the restart of Athabasca Division, we are confident Meadow Lake OSB Division will allow us to serve our customers’ strand based needs until more robust and sustained demand occurs within the North American market.
“We continue to work with government and other stakeholders on initiatives that will enhance our competitiveness when economic and market conditions improve.”
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.
Sheri Greeno Tolko Industries Ltd. Communications Advisor