TAYLOR, B.C. — There is some uncertainty clouding the future of the Taylor pulp mill as Canfor said it doesn’t see a path forward for the facility and has started exploring alternative uses for the site.
“As a result of a reduction in the long-term supply of fibre in the Peace region, the company does not see a path forward to restarting the Taylor mill at this time and is exploring alternative uses for the site,” said Canfor in its fourth-quarter results on Tuesday.
The questions surrounding the facility’s future aren’t new after being hit with several curtailments since December 2021 and following the recent announcements of mill closures across B.C.
The curtailment in 2021 was in response to transportation issues caused by flooding in the Lower Mainland. Production was restricted again in February 2022 for a “minimum” of six weeks before being hit with another six-week extension in March.
The company then forecasted in May that the curtailment would possibly be lifted in the fall, but the tune changed in August. In its second-quarter results for 2022, Canfor said the Taylor Pulp Mill curtailment will continue until “more normal” transportation levels return to its pulp and paper mills.
In May 2022, Michelle Ward, a spokesperson for Canfor, confirmed that around 80 employees have been affected by the curtailments. At that time, the mill was being run by a crew of about 20 people.
Since January, Canfor has announced sawmill and pulp mill closures in Chetwynd, Prince George, Houston, and Port Alberni, leaving hundreds of B.C. residents without jobs.
With the closure of the sawmill and pellet plant looming, the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce recently met with the Canfor transition team to lay out what the next steps are for the community.
Canfor reported an adjusted operating loss of $164 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, and an adjusted shareholder net loss of $127 million, or $1.04 per share.
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