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Columbia Forest Products hoping to re-open soon

'We were getting possible failures in their roof and we evacuated the Mill that day and stopped production until we could get it assessed'
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File photo.

Columbia Forest Products in Rutherglen is hoping to get up and running again very soon.

The hardwood veneer mill has been shut down since late January, when officials became aware of a serious issue with the facility's roof.  

“On January 28th, we had several purlins (horizontal beams) crack in our ceiling,” explained Chris Daur, plant manager at Columbia Forest Products in Rutherglen.

“The main structure is roughly 100 feet wide by 500 feet long and there are main girder beams that are 20 feet apart they are perfectly fine. It’s the smaller dimensional timbers in between that started to crack.

“It was not throughout the whole mill it was just in sections.  We were getting possible failures in their roof and we evacuated the Mill that day and stopped production until we could get it assessed.”

The facility has been shut down since and workers have been put temporarily out of work.  

Daur sympathizes with the employees - some who have put in EI claims.

The facility has had its challenges in the past. After shutting down in 2010, the mill reopened again in 2015 due to an improving hardwood veneer market.

He anticipates the facility will be back operating in full speed as soon as April.

“The company is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to do the repairs so we are hoping to reopen within the next couple of weeks,” said Daur.

Columbia Forest Products in Rutherglen employs 75 workers including production, maintenance, and office staff. 




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Chris Dawson

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