Interfor’s sawmills in Grand Forks and Castlegar are scheduled to slow production for two weeks amid pandemic-related market changes.                                (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Interfor’s sawmills in Grand Forks and Castlegar are scheduled to slow production for two weeks amid pandemic-related market changes. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Interfor cuts production and staff at Grand Forks, Castlegar mills

The curtailment is scheduled to last two weeks, amid pandemic-related market changes

Sawmills in Grand Forks and Castlegar will be cutting production and staff as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Interfor Corporation, which owns three sawmills in the B.C. Interior, announced Wednesday, March 18 it was going to “implement a number of initiatives in order to adjust its business to operating conditions being impacted by COVID-19,” the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Fillinger said in a release.

In Grand Forks, the temporary curtailment will see approximately 40 employees laid off for the initial two weeks, beginning March 23.

The number of layoffs expected at the company’s Castlegar facility could not be confirmed by the local mill manager, as of March 19.

“There’s so much uncertainty in the market that us and a lot of our competitors are having trouble, not getting our wood to market, but selling it,” said Interfor Grand Forks mill manager Dave Parsons.

Parsons’ sawmill will stop production on Monday, March 23, but he said that logs will continue to be brought in for at least another week. The site’s kilns and planer will also continue.

“We will re-evaluate in the second week but we’re hoping to be up and running again after two weeks, but of course that’s going to have to be depended on what’s going on,” Parsons said.

Across its sites, Interfor expects to reduce production by approximately 35 million board feet per week, according to the release.

In addition to reducing production by approximately 60 per cent, Interfor announced Wednesday that it plans to cut capital spending for this year and 2021 by $140 million. It says it will review its capital spending plans as market conditions evolve.

“We are very focused on ensuring the health and safety of our employees as well as adapting to the evolving market conditions,” said Fillinger. “In addition, Interfor will remain disciplined in its approach to capital deployment as it focuses on retaining a strong capital structure.”

Last June Interfor cut production and gave staff temporary layoffs to help it cope with poor market conditions.

Interfor has three sawmills in the B.C. Interior, in Adams Lake, Grand Forks, and Castlegar. The company has a total annual capacity of approximately 750 million board feet.

READ MORE: COVID-19: It could take 3 years for stock market to recover, says B.C. economist


@jensenedw
Jensen.edwards@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

softwood lumber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Les Cleverly, formerly of Grand Forks Fire/Rescue, is suing the city as well as current and former city firefighters over alleged workplace bullying and defamation. File photo.
Former Grand Forks firefighter suing department, city over alleged conspiracy, constructed dismissal

Plaintiff Les Cleverly filed a notice of civil claim with the Supreme Court of BC in last week

Grand Forks RCMP and Grand Forks Fire/Rescue near the scene of a motor vehicle accident Thursday evening, Jan. 21, in the vicinity of Highway 3 near the intersection of Danshin Village Road. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
First responders returning from Highway 3 crash West of Grand Forks

It is not known how many people were involved in the accident

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

The bill was discussed at Grand Forks Social Services Advisory Group’s last meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks City Hall spends around $6,000 on recent Moto clean up

The city’s bill came up for discussion at the Social Services Advisory Group on Wednesday, Jan. 20

From the left, Midway RCMP seized suspected cannabis, cocaine and fentanyl from a truck pulled over by Conservation Service Officers in the West Boundary Monday, Jan. 17. Photo submitted
Midway RCMP find suspected drugs in traffic stop by Conservation Service Officers

Cpl. Phil Peters said the CSOs were stopping local hunters on Highway 33

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read