Rutherglen, ON – Citing improving markets for rotary hardwood veneer in North America, Gary Gillespie, vice president of Columbia Forest Products’ Northern Operations, announced this week that Columbia is in the intermediate stages of preparing for a reopening the company's plant in Rutherglen, Ontario.
The facility had been shuttered in the throes of the great recession, a direct outcome of the general economic downturn and the dramatic increase of imports of birch-faced panels from China into the U.S. and Canada.
"We have been anxiously awaiting the moment when we could announce that it was time to fire up the boilers and bring folks back to work at the Rutherglen facility,” stated Gillespie.
"Today, we have confidence that we are entering a time when we will continue to experience strengthening markets for Rutherglen's products. At the same time, we’re counting on significant support from local and provincial government officials as we work with them to secure long-term log supplies for the plant and assistance for training new employees at the facility,” Gillespie added.
Columbia is investing approximately $1.5 million U.S. with the facility in preparation of a late first quarter 2016 restart. This investment in Ontario comes on the heels of a $15 million investment in the company’s hardwood plywood plant in Hearst, Ontario earlier this year.
"Although it took longer than we had anticipated, we never gave up on the idea of reestablishing ourselves as a going concern in Rutherglen. We are very high on Ontario, its hardwood resources and, most importantly, its smart, hard-working people,” Gillespie noted.
Established in 1957, Columbia Forest Products is America’s largest manufacturer of decorative hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer. An employee-owned company, it operates facilities throughout North America. It is a leader in sustainable forestry, as well as developing innovative and environmentally friendly technologies and products for healthy indoor living.
Columbia Forest Products has provided fine decorative hardwood plywood veneer panels to North American fabricators for nearly 60 years. The company is committed to offering the industry’s widest product selection, manufactured in efficient, technologically advanced mills, and backed by exceptional service and product support.