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Western Forest Products announces indefinite curtailment of Port Alberni sawmill

Western and partners start hunt for industrial manufacturing solutions to revamp APD Sawmill
Alberni Pacific Division (APD) Sawmill, owned by Western Forest Products, is located on Port Alberni’s waterfront. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

The Alberni-Pacific Division (APD) sawmill in Port Alberni will not be restarting anytime soon.

Western Forest Products announced on Thursday, Jan. 26 that it will not be restarting its APD facility “in its current configuration.” The mill has been curtailed since the fall of 2022. Western has instead established a multi-party working group “to explore potential viable industrial manufacturing solutions for the facility.”

READ MORE: Western Forest Products shuts Alberni sawmill for six months

In 2022, Western, Tsawak-qin Forestry Limited Partnership and Huu-ay-aht First Nations commissioned The Beck Group to look at long-term economically viable primary manufacturing options for APD. The report concluded that the options for APD are “very limited.”

The working group—which includes representatives from Western, the United Steelworkers union, Indigenous partners and contractually-aligned businesses—will explore potential viable industrial manufacturing solutions for the site over the next 90 days.

“We believe the coastal forest sector has a strong future and we have and plan to continue to invest in partnerships, people and facilities to achieve a long-term sustainable business model in BC that evolves with the changing fibre supply, forest policies and global markets,” said Western’s CEO, Steven Hofer, in a press release.

“We are committed to exploring options with partners to advance potential solutions for the APD facility and appreciate the support of the working group members who have stepped up and joined us in this important work.”

This is a developing story…

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