Western Forest Products to shut down Somass Sawmill indefinitely

The Port Alberni sawmill has been temporarily curtailed since February

Western Forest Products announced Thursday that it will shut down the Somass Sawmill permanently.

The sawmill has been temporarily curtailed since February.

“The difficult decision to indefinitely curtail operations is in response to the lack of log supply to operate the mill efficiently, as well as the uncertainty caused by duties recently applied to Canadian softwood lumber products sold into the United States,” the company said in a statement released Thursday.

“Western is focused on reducing costs to remain competitive. Cost reductions will be delivered through operational consolidation.”

The statement said staff plan to offset those losses by boosting production at its other operations on Vancouver Island.

“We have made the announcement today to provide clarity and options for our Somass employees. We will be encouraging employees to explore opportunities for employment at Western’s other sawmills on Vancouver Island,” said president and CEO Don Demens.

The statement also said the company intends to offer voluntary serverance to its hourly Somass employees.

More to come.

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