Canfor to build new $200m mill in Houston

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Canfor says it will build a new $200-million mill in Houston to replace one that was shuttered earlier this year.

The Vancouver-based company closed the sawmill in Houston in January, citing high operating costs and an uncertain fibre supply.

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The decision whether to replace the facility was slated for July but was delayed until Thursday when the company announced plans to build a state-of-the-art “low cost, high efficiency” manufacturing facility that would be able to produce a wide variety of wood products and have an annual production capacity of approximately 350 million board feet.

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“This decision comes following a comprehensive evaluation of customer requirements and a careful evaluation of the availability of economic fibre in the region to support a successful investment,” said Canfor CEO Don Kayne in a statement on Thursday.

The announcement underscores the company’s commitment to Houston and to B.C., he said. “It will strengthen our ability to provide our high-quality, sustainably produced forest products to the world, while providing good, family-supporting jobs here in B.C.”

The project will also continue the company’s history of collaborative relationships with the First Nations in the area.

The new mill will take about two to three years to build. Work will begin immediately on detailed project engineering and permitting requirements, with demolition and site preparation scheduled for the spring, said the company.

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