Explosion at Tafisa plant disrupts particleboard operations

Particleboard facilities at Lac-Mégantic, Canada.

An explosion  occurred at Tafisa Canada's particleboard facility in Lac-Mégantic last Friday, June 14, at around 5:30 p.m. No injuries were reported and an investigation continues.

According to a statement from the company, the explosion affected one of the two raw particleboard production lines. 

Supported by an internal fire and emergency brigade, the city's firefighters intervened quickly. Tafisa has communicated with the competent authorities, including the CNESST and the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks (MELCCFP), to inform them of the situation.

An action plan was put in place that includes measures aimed at securing the site, supporting employees, including psychological support, analyzing the causes, assessing the damage, and establishing a sequence to restart operations.

The incident resulted in the shutdown of some operations, including the affected line, and the shutdown may continue for several more weeks. Since Sunday, sectors of the factory have been put back into operation, including the shipping of panels and the operation of melamine lines.

"Regarding the resumption of our operations of the raw particleboard production lines, we plan to restart one of the two lines in the coming days. All of our staff is required to work, and no layoffs are planned," according to the statement.

It is not known if the incident affected any facility or production lines that were part of 2022 upgrades. In July 2022, Woodworking Network reported that Tafisa Canada had invested $62 million in investments in its facilities in Lac-Mégantic. Of that figure, a $28 million investment was used in a new 70,000-square-foot  plant and another $34 million was used to expand a second plant.



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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).