A temporary curtailment at the Western Forest Products Ladysmith Sawmill on Ludlow Road means about 70 people are without work.
Amy Spencer, Western Forest Products (WFP)’s director of communications and government relations, says operations at the mill are temporarily on hold, although they think that for the next couple of weeks, there will still be some minor shipping and maintenance activity occurring.
The temporary curtailment of operations started Friday, Dec. 5 and was caused by a lower need for WFP’s lumber in China.
“The products that are produced at the Ladysmith mill are primarily sold to China, and we’re experiencing a downturn in that market there,” explained Spencer. “We don’t know how long the mill will be curtailed. We’re just watching the market very closely and will re-open as soon as possible.”
Spencer says curtailments like this don’t happen all the time, but it is not uncommon for it to happen.
“Ladysmith has gone through one before,” she said.
The WFP Saltair Sawmill is still running 100 per cent, confirmed Spencer.
In early October, WFP announced plans to close its sawmill on Nanaimo’s waterfront by the end of the year and move operations to its Duke Point sawmill as that plant nears completion on a $10-million modernization project.
At the time of that announcement, it was reported that lumber production is expected to increase not only at Duke Point, but also at the Saltair Sawmill.