Canfor Pulp COVID-19 measures disappointing but not surprising, Radium mayor says

Local mill to close for three weeks, maybe longer

With Canfor Pulp Products Inc. postponing spring maintenance and cutting back on costs due to COVID-19, Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt told the Pioneer: “Of course this kind of news is always disappointing for the employees, the community and the employer, but given what is going on in the world, the news is not totally unexpected. The environment for the lumber industry has been challenging for a long time and the markets are now slowing down to almost none. The news is that our mill will be closed initially for three weeks, and then evaluated week by week. Realistically, they may be slowed down for longer than that.”

In a press release Canfor Pulp chief executive officer Don Kayne said: “Our top priority is working to protect the safety and well-being of our employees … At the same time, we are responding to volatility in the marketplace and reduced fibre availability, and taking necessary steps to protect the business.”

The release went on to say that the company is “postponing the planned extended spring maintenance shut at Northwood Pulp Mill until later this year, and instead will curtail the mill for three weeks during the period the turnaround was originally scheduled to occur. This will result in a reduction of approximately 35,000 tonnes of Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft pulp production.”

Canfor Pulp is also reducing its planned capital investments in 2020 by $15 million to $25 million and is monitoring volatility in the financial markets, demand for products and staff availability during the pandemic.

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