By Goat Staff

On Monday, June 3rd Canfor announced it is closing its Vavenby sawmill permanently.

A press release from the company said Canfor is selling its forest tenure for $60 million to Interfor.

The sale of the forest tenure is subject to customary closing conditions including the consent of the Minister of Forests according to the press release.

“Due to the current and long-term log supply constraints we face in the Vavenby region, along with the high cost of fibre, we have made the very difficult decision to permanently close the sawmill,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor.

He also said that the ongoing depressed lumber markets have expedited this decision

“Today’s decision is not a reflection on our employees, our contractors or the local communities of Vavenby and Clearwater who have all contributed significantly to the operation of our mill,” said Kayne. “We deeply regret the significant impact to our employees, contractors and the communities, and will be working to support them through this difficult time.”

He said that the industry knew that sawmill capacity must be reduced following the end of the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic. The Vavenby sawmill has an annual production capacity of approximately 250 million board feet.

Following the closure of Vavenby, Canfor will have 12 sawmills in Canada, with total annual capacity of approximately 3.55 billion board feet.

Former editor of the Clearwater Times Keith McNeill said there will be a big impact.

“Its upcoming permanent closure is going to create difficulties for the area’s economy,” he said in a post on Facebook.

McNeill said that 35 years ago there was a sawmill and planer mill in Clearwater and two major sawmills in Vavenby.
“Today, Canfor-Vavenby is the only one left,” he said.