Western Forest Products Chair Lee Doney announced June 11 that $28 million in new capital investment is being made at the Duke Point sawmill, and $2 million at its Ladysmith and Chemainus mills.
The Duke Point investment will be used to modernize the sawmill, planer mill and install new autograding technology to improve productivity and reduce production costs.
The company is investing $2 million in its Chemainus and Ladysmith sawmills as part of its $125 million capital strategic investment program, which Western expects to improve its competitiveness and access to new markets.
Duke Point is one of seven sawmills that Western Forest Products has on Vancouver Island. The company also has two remanufacturing facilities and is North America’s largest cedar lumber manufacturer. WFP ships products to 28 different countries and provides jobs to 2,000 employees and 1,500 contractors.
“Our harvesting strategies and continued demand for our western red cedar and specialty lumber products allows us to make the needed strategic capital investment at this time,” Doney said. “We recognize we need to continue to invest in our operations to maintain our strong competitive position.”
Premier Christy Clark was on hand for the announcement, along with Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson. Said Clark, “Forestry plays a vital role in Vancouver Island’s diverse economy.”
Western Forest Products’ mills have a combined total production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet.