Recent History – 1999
April 26, 1999, by Daily News Staff
Louisiana Pacific announced a major forestry investment today that will fund new mills in northeast B.C., create 576 jobs and make $25.5 million worth of improvements to it’s existing operations.
Along with $258 million for the new mills, the company will invest $9.5 million to modify its existing pulp mill in Chetwynd and $16 million to improve the oriented strand board plant in Dawson Creek.
“This is a good day for the forest economy in the province,” Forestry Minister David Zirnhelt told reporters after the announcement.
The four new mills will be built in northern B.C. The operations will include a new oriented strand-board mill, a veneer mill, a laminated veneer lumber mill and an I-joist mill.
Mark Suwyn, LP Chairman and CEO, said the company decided to build in the region to take advantage of the existing infrastructure for shipping and the skilled workers in the area.
While information released by the Provincial Liberals speculated that a new mill could be located in Fort St. John, Suwyn would not confirm this.
“The specific location for those new mills has not been picked yet”, he said.
The new operations would provide access to one million cubic metres of wood for the company, which is seeking to expand its profile as a supplier to building projects across North America.
The renovations and modifications to existing plants will protect and ensure the longevity of jobs in Chetwynd and Dawson Creek, Suwyn said. The improvements in Dawson Creek will provide employment security for 140 workers. Modifications to the pulp mill in Chetwynd, agreed to by workers, the district and the provincial government, are designed to cut costs and increase competitiveness.