Weyerhaeuser has allocated $23 million to production upgrades over the next year and a half at its dimensional softwood lumber mill in Drayton Valley, AB. The expansion will improve operations and efficiencies, positively positioning the company’s supply capabilities as the North American housing market continues to expand and export demand remains strong.
The enhancements, including upgrades to the facility’s sawmill and drying operations, will help improve cost structure, maximize raw materials, increase energy efficiency, and improve product quality and appearance. The company anticipates the improvements will ultimately allow for a 35% increase in production capacity.
“These upgrades are game-changers that will bring the mill to a new level,” said Weyerhaeuser’s unit manager Doug Wessel. “They will help us improve efficiencies and ensure that we meet customer needs for high-quality lumber products as the economy continues to grow.”
Upgrades to the mill, which employs approximately 160 people, are slated for completion in the third quarter of 2014.
“Weyerhaeuser is honored to have been an integral part of the Drayton Valley region for 25 years,” said Alan Sherrington, Weyerhaeuser’s Canadian region lumber manager. “This significant investment in capital improvements further acknowledges our long-term commitment to quality products and to the mill, our employees, and the entire Alberta community.”
“The announcement shows that economic diversification in Alberta is right on track,” said Diana McQueen, Alberta Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. “Our forestry industry is strong, and Weyerhaeuser’s expansion plans show that strength. This is also important for Drayton Valley and helps build continued economic growth in the community.”
“Weyerhaeuser has a long history in our community, and seeing this investment is great news,” said Drayton Valley Mayor Moe Hamdon. “Not only does it add more jobs and help to draw more people to our community but it also highlights the importance Weyerhaeuser puts on Drayton Valley and the commitment the company has to the area.”
The Drayton Valley sawmill produces a range of spruce-pine-fir (SPF) lumber products sourced from Canadian forests for customers in North America and Asia. SPF’s high fiber strength, light weight, and easy workability make it an ideal choice for house construction, trusses, and home projects.