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Sinclar Group announces two-week shut down at three mills

Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd. close its sawmill operations in Vanderhoof, Fort St. James and Prince George for two weeks, starting August 19.

“As a long-standing, family-run company, rooted and operating in north central B.C., the decision we’ve had to make today was not an easy one,” said Sinclar Group President Greg Stewart. “We’ve deferred the decision as long as possible, due to our commitment to our employees and communities.”

He said the decision is based on factors outside of the company’s control, including high log costs and challenging global market conditions, which are having a detrimental impact across the B.C. forest industry. The shut downs impact Sinclar’s sawmill operations at Lakeland Mills in Prince George, Nechako Lumber in Vanderhoof, and Apollo Forest Products in Fort St. James. Production will be reduced across the three operations by approximately 25 million board feet.

The Premium Pellet operation will continue to run, as will the Prince George District Energy System.

“We are committed to the long-term sustainability of the company, and to continuing support for our employees and the communities we live and work in,” said Stewart. “I am confident that we will emerge from this difficult period even stronger and more resilient.”

Sinclar Group Forest Products operates three primary mills (sawmills and planer mills) and two secondary (value-added) mills in the Central Interior of British Columbia, Canada. Sinclar operations include Apollo Forest Products (Fort St. James), Nechako Lumber Co. (Vanderhoof), Lakeland Mills (Prince George), Winton Homes & Cottages (Prince George) and Premium Pellet (Vanderhoof).

Yesterday, Tolko Industries announced its Kelowna operation would take downtime from August 6 to September 15.

“The high cost of logs and weak market conditions are still impacting our operating footprint in British Columbia,” said Troy Connolly, vice president of solid wood. “Although we prefer to keep our locations in constant operation, we must manage the business responsibly and ensure we are sustainable for the future.”

Connolly says employees were informed of the decision and their managers are available to assist them with any questions they may have.

“We do not make these decisions without a lot of consideration,” said Connolly. “We know we have great people working at this location and this is in no way a reflection on them or their commitment. However, we’re seeing a lot of challenging industry conditions in B.C. right now, which could continue for some time.”

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