Tolko extending temporary closure of Armstrong and Williams Lake sawmills - InfoNews

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Tolko extending temporary closure of Armstrong and Williams Lake sawmills

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June 05, 2019 - 11:39 AM

VERNON - Tolko Industries is extending the downtime at its lumber mills in Armstrong and Williams Lake for another two weeks.

In a media release issued today,June 5, the Vernon-based forestry company says it is extending the closure of the Armstrong and Soda Creek mills due to poor market conditions. Originally the firm closed the mills May 27, saying at the time the closure would be for two weeks.

"As the recent rash of curtailments and closure announcements indicates, current market and cost conditions are making it difficult to operate in B.C.," vice president of solid wood Troy Connolly said in the release. “And with significant increases to stumpage rates set to take effect in July of this year, we expect conditions to remain challenging."

Connolly said he knows this is a difficult time for employees at these sites and wanted to let them know as soon as possible.

"These decisions are difficult. As a family-owned and operated business, we’re proud of our communities and our employees. While we prefer to remain operational, industry conditions are challenging right now, and we want our people and their families to have time to prepare."

Tolko said an additional 16 million board feet of capacity will be lost due to the closure. 

In May, the company announced it would be permanently closing its Quesnel sawmill in August, and that it would be reducing the shifts by half at its Kelowna mill in July.

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