COVID-19: Western Forest Products to have temporary production curtailments

WESTERN Forest Products Inc. announced on Sunday that effective March 23 it will curtail its manufacturing facilities currently operating in British Columbia due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on operating conditions.

The planned curtailment is scheduled for up to one week. During this period the Company will re-evaluate business and operating conditions to determine when these manufacturing operations will resume.

Packaging and shipping of lumber products will continue to meet customer requirements. The ongoing curtailments at the Company’s Cowichan Bay and Ladysmith sawmills are expected to continue into the second quarter due to limited log supply and weak market demand.

Western will also take steps to minimize its planned capital expenditures in 2020. The Company plans to incur only safety, environmental and committed capital expenditures in the near-term. Going forward discretionary capital will remain on hold until there is greater operational certainty.  

“The health and safety of our employees remains our top priority” said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Western has taken steps to mitigate potential exposure to COVID-19 throughout our operations by implementing strict health and safety protocols. The decision to temporarily curtail manufacturing operations in British Columbia is necessary as we respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation. We will continue to monitor market conditions and government directions in the jurisdictions where we operate and adjust our business as circumstances change.”