ALBERTA - Tolko Industries, a Canadian specialty forest products firm, has reopened a structural wood paneling plant in northern Alberta that’s eventually expected to provide 175 jobs. The plant has been closed since 2008.
 
Tolko chose to re-open the plant, which will produce oriented strand board (OSB), after receiving municipal support and a $4 million provincial investment tax credit. 
 
Tolko projects that markets are improving and is optimistic that housing starts will maintain their upward momentum.
 
“We are confident that current improvements in market conditions are sustainable and that customer demand for Tolko oriented strand board products will remain strong,” said Tolko president Brad Thorlakson in news release.
 
News of the re-opening comes soon after the company announced a collaboration with U.S.-based Hunt Forest Products, a manufacturer and seller of Southern Yellow Pine plywood, veneer, and hardwood lumber, to build a $115 million state-of-the-art lumber mill in Louisiana. The facility will employ 60 people when operations begin next January, and 110 will work there when it's operating at full capacity.
 
Tolko exports most of its products to the U.S., which slapped a significant 22 percent tariff on the company as part of the ongoing softwood lumber dispute.
 

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