Softwood lumber is pictured in Richmond, B.C., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. An estimated 300 jobs in British Columbia will likely be gone by the end of the year as Canfor Pulp Products closes the pulp line at its Prince George pulp and paper mill. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Softwood lumber is pictured in Richmond, B.C., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. An estimated 300 jobs in British Columbia will likely be gone by the end of the year as Canfor Pulp Products closes the pulp line at its Prince George pulp and paper mill. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Hundreds of jobs affected as Canfor announces pulp line closure at B.C. mill

Vancouver-based company blames a lack of fibre for its pulp operations

An estimated 300 jobs in British Columbia will likely be gone by the end of the year as Canfor Pulp Products closes the pulp line at its Prince George pulp and paper mill.

The Vancouver-based company made the announcement about the permanent closure Wednesday, blaming a lack of fibre for its pulp operations.

The Canfor statement says the specialty paper facility at the mill will stay open.

Canfor Pulp president and CEO Kevin Edgson says the company will begin an “orderly wind down process” over the next few months and expects to close the pulp line by the first quarter of 2023.

He says Canfor will be working to support affected employees through the transition.

The shut down will result in a reduction of 280,000 tonnes of market kraft pulp annually.

Canfor says the decision to close the pulp line at the Prince George mill came after an “extensive analysis” of its operations and the long-term supply of fibre in the area.

“In recent years, several sawmills have permanently closed in the Prince George region due to reductions in the allowable annual cut and challenges accessing cost-competitive fibre,” Edgson says in the statement.

Canfor needs to “rightsize” its operating platform, he says, and the statement says the company regrets the effect the closure will have on its employees, their families and the businesses that support it and the local community.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CFP, TSX:CFX)

The Canadian Press

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