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100 Mile House OSB plant closing indefinitely

Norbord Inc. is indefinitely closing its oriented strand board (OSB) mill in 100 Mile House, starting in August 2019.

The closure will result in 160 job losses in the small Cariboo community.

“The Cariboo region in which the company’s 100 Mile House mill is located has been under mounting wood supply pressure for the past decade as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic,” according to a statement posted on the company’s website. “This challenge has been more recently exacerbated by the significant wildfires that the province of British Columbia experienced in the summers of both 2017 and 2018.  The resulting wood supply shortage and high wood prices do not support the economic operation of the mill at this time.”

Norbord will continue to supply its current customers and meet expected future customer demand with production from its 11 other operating North American OSB mills, including High Level and Grande Prairie, Alberta.

“This is a difficult decision in response to extraordinary circumstances,” said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord’s President & CEO. “We have a first-rate team in 100 Mile House and this curtailment is in no way a reflection on our employees, their commitment to our customers and suppliers, or the local community.”

The 100 Mile House mill has a stated annual production capacity of 440 million square feet (3/8-inch basis).

Last week Canfor announced it will be permanently closing its Vavenby sawmill, putting 178 people out of work and this week it announced summer shut downs (from two to six weeks) at all of its B.C. sawmills except one.

Earlier this month West Fraser announced it will be shutting down five mills in the Interior for one week – Chetwynd, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Smithers and Fraser Lake.

Norbord Profile

Norbord Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of wood-based panels and the world’s largest producer of oriented strand board (OSB). In addition to OSB, Norbord manufactures particleboard, medium density fibreboard and related value-added products. Norbord has assets of approximately US $1.9 billion and employs approximately 2,700 people at 17 plant locations in the United States, Canada and Europe. Norbord is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “OSB.”

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