Interfor’s sawmills in Grand Forks and Castlegar are scheduled to slow production for two weeks amid pandemic-related market changes. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Interfor cuts production and staff at Grand Forks, Castlegar mills

The curtailment is scheduled to last two weeks, amid pandemic-related market changes

Sawmills in Grand Forks and Castlegar will be cutting production and staff as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Interfor Corporation, which owns three sawmills in the B.C. Interior, announced Wednesday, March 18 it was going to “implement a number of initiatives in order to adjust its business to operating conditions being impacted by COVID-19,” the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Fillinger said in a release.

In Grand Forks, the temporary curtailment will see approximately 40 employees laid off for the initial two weeks, beginning March 23.

The number of layoffs expected at the company’s Castlegar facility could not be confirmed by the local mill manager, as of March 19.

“There’s so much uncertainty in the market that us and a lot of our competitors are having trouble, not getting our wood to market, but selling it,” said Interfor Grand Forks mill manager Dave Parsons.

Parsons’ sawmill will stop production on Monday, March 23, but he said that logs will continue to be brought in for at least another week. The site’s kilns and planer will also continue.

“We will re-evaluate in the second week but we’re hoping to be up and running again after two weeks, but of course that’s going to have to be depended on what’s going on,” Parsons said.

Across its sites, Interfor expects to reduce production by approximately 35 million board feet per week, according to the release.

In addition to reducing production by approximately 60 per cent, Interfor announced Wednesday that it plans to cut capital spending for this year and 2021 by $140 million. It says it will review its capital spending plans as market conditions evolve.

“We are very focused on ensuring the health and safety of our employees as well as adapting to the evolving market conditions,” said Fillinger. “In addition, Interfor will remain disciplined in its approach to capital deployment as it focuses on retaining a strong capital structure.”

Last June Interfor cut production and gave staff temporary layoffs to help it cope with poor market conditions.

Interfor has three sawmills in the B.C. Interior, in Adams Lake, Grand Forks, and Castlegar. The company has a total annual capacity of approximately 750 million board feet.

READ MORE: COVID-19: It could take 3 years for stock market to recover, says B.C. economist


@jensenedw
Jensen.edwards@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

softwood lumber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sculpture to offer point of beauty and unity at rivers’ junction in Grand Forks

Artist David Seven Deers spent 19 months sculpting Shining Raven Woman

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Greenwood Museum debuts new Chinese laundry exhibit

The new exhibit reflects a staple business of the city from more than 100 years ago

Spring flooding financial relief available for affected residents

The provincial funds are for those affected by flooding in May and early June

Injured dirt biker evacuated from near Bluejoint Lookout

Emergency crews brought the rider to hospital, where doctors determined he had a fractured vertebra

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read