Canfor Corporation’s North Central Plywoods mill in Prince George, BC, was destroyed by fire in May and industry watchers believe market conditions, combined with the impact of the pine beetle in the BC Interior, make a rebuild unlikely.
More than 200 workers at the mill lost their jobs as a result of the fire, though the withdrawal of 185 million ft2 of plywood production from a struggling market was probably a relief to some of Canfor’s competitors, according to Canadian media reports.
Canfor estimates losses from the fire at C$80m (US$79m) and rebuilding the mill could be hard to justify, with the continuing poor market and the mountain pine beetle aftermath threatening its future timber supply.
Canfor has told the workers affected that it could take up to 18 months to replace the mill if it does rebuild.