Interfor's Tacoma sawmill will not be coming back online.
According to a quarterly earnings report released yesterday, the Canadian company's new sawmill failed to achieve expectations as a result of “challenging lumber and log market conditions.” In Q2, the sawmill produced 26 million board feet, for a total of 47 million board feet since Interfor acquired the sawmill from Simpson Lumber in March, far below its full capacity. It was responsible for a loss of $7.7 million.
Interfor curtailed production on May 22, laying off about 100 employees and allowing them to apply for unemployment. At the time, Intefor Senior Vice President of the U.S. Northwest Steven Hofer said he was unsure whether the mill would start back up or not.
Now, after much “analysis and deliberation,” Interfor President and Duncan Davies said the company will try to sell the property.
“We understood at the time the mill was acquired that a turnaround was required at Tacoma,” Davies said. “While good progress has been made from an operating standpoint, the drop in product prices experienced in Q2 2015 resulted in operating losses greater than expected when the mill was acquired.”
“In the face of continued uncertainty, we have concluded that we would be better served to exit the mill and to redeploy the capital associated with the facility elsewhere within our system.”
“We understand the uncertainty this decision brings to the mill's employees and to others associated with the operation and will do everything we can to bring matters to conclusion as soon as possible.”