Interfor to invest $19 million in Grand Forks site

Interfor is planning a $24 million investment for the Grand Forks and Castlegar sawmills, slated to begin early 2012.

International Forest Products Ltd. (Interfor) is planning a $24 million investment for the Grand Forks and Castlegar sawmills, slated to begin early 2012.

Andrew Horahan, Interfor’s general manager of Kootenay operations, stated that Grand Forks would receive $19 million of the allotted investment.

“It will be a significant upgrade to our sawmill, with a new small log line installed in 2012 up until early 2013,” he said.

The log line will replace an existing two-line facility, along with an installation of an automated lumber grading system.

The $5 million investment in Castlegar will see high-return projects that include installation of an automated lumber grading system. According to the press release this will focus on increasing productivity and value extraction at the mill.

Horahan explained that the investment would provide a more stable job environment.

“There won’t be a significant job growth, but the stability of those jobs will be greatly improved.”

Interfor has been looking at various options over the past few years and it was recently approved, said Horahan.

“The capital investment will benefit Grand Forks significantly by creating stability for these mills for many years to come.”

When everything is updated, both mills will have a “combined capacity of 375 million board feet on a full two-shift basis.”