ST. THOMAS, Ontario – Element5 plans to construct Ontario’s first cross laminated timber (CLT) plant in St. Thomas. The operation is scheduled to open in December 2020.

The company said the new 125,000-square-foot facility “will house a technologically advanced, fully automated CLT and glulam production line,” capable of producing up to 45,000 cubic meters of CLT and glulam annually. Element5 said the operation will employ 50 full-time staff while creating an additional 240 new jobs in related manufacturing, sawmill, transportation and logging sectors.

The $50 million project received almost $5 million in funding from Ontario’s Forestry Growth Fund. In addition, the provincial government has committed to increasing the use of timber in the home building industry through the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and the Housing Supply Action Plan.

"We're grateful for the support of the Government of Ontario. This is a significant investment in the Ontario forestry industry, job creation, housing, innovation and technology, and the environment in the form of green building practices," said Frank Dottori, Industry Leadership at Element5. "Through their generous support, Ontario and specifically St. Thomas are well poised to become the center of the mass timber industry in North America."

Element5, which has offices in Montreal and Toronto, was founded in 2015 and opened its first CLT plant in Ripon, Quebec in 2017. Plans are in the works to upgrade that operation to boost production to 10,000 cubic meters per year of CLT and glulam. That’s equal to four times the amount of wood used in the 18-story Brock Commons Student Resident at the University of British Columbia, the tallest mass timber building in Canada.

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