Ainsworth to Suspend OSB Production in Minnesota
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 22 September 2006 -- Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. today announced that it will suspend oriented strand board (OSB) production at its Grand Rapids and Cook facilities in Minnesota, effective today, for an indefinite period.
The Grand Rapids facility employs 190 people and has an annual production capacity of 390 million square feet (3/8-inch basis). The closure will result in the immediate layoff of approximately 150 employees.
The Cook facility employs 170 people and has an annual production capacity of 430 million square feet (3/8-inch basis). All employees will be retained for the next two weeks to perform extensive annual maintenance work that was originally planned for this December. Once this maintenance work has been completed, approximately 150 employees will be laid off.
"The decision to suspend production reflects the high costs of production coupled with protracted weak structural panel market conditions," said Brian Ainsworth, chairman and CEO. "The continued losses due to very high Minnesota wood costs, increased costs for freight and resins, and prevailing market prices have regrettably forced us to take this action," he said.
"Unfortunately, we do not foresee any near term improvement in either the cost or market conditions." Ainsworth will continue to meet the needs of their customers by supplying various products from other OSB facilities in their manufacturing system.
A decision on whether to resume production at either Grand Rapids or Cook will be reviewed in mid-October. Production at the facilities will only resume when warranted by improved market and cost conditions.
Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ainsworth is North America's fourth largest producer of OSB. It has seven OSB manufacturing facilities with a combined annual production capacity of 3.1 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis).