Low lumber prices have caused Vancouver, Canada-based Conifex Timber Inc. to indefinitely curtail operations at its El Dorado sawmill. The curtailment is planned to be phased-in over the next 60 days the company said in its Wednesday (Aug. 14) announcement.
The curtailment is expected to reduce Conifex’s U.S. southern lumber production by approximately 21 million board feet to the end of the year.
“We regret this difficult decision, however lumber prices are simply too modest to justify continued operations at a site that requires further capital expenditures to realize its potential as an efficient, modern mill,” Ken Shields, Conifex chair and CEO, said in a statement. “While our wish is to restart the mill as soon we can, our immediate priorities are to identity the scope of a Phase 2 capital investment to help better inform a re-start date.”
Conifex, a forestry and sawmilling company, announced in January 2017 plans to modernize and re-start the El Dorado sawmill complex. The sawmill was previously owned by Georgia Pacific and had been closed for almost 10 years. Conifex said at the time it would invest $80 million in the plant and create 120 full-time jobs.
Company officials did not disclose how many jobs would be cut during the curtailment of operations.