Prince George, Vancouver, Canada 20 March 2013 -- Lakeland Mills Ltd. announced today it will build a new sawmill to replace the mill destroyed in a tragic explosion and fire on April 23, 2012.
"Today is a great day for Lakeland, for our employees and for the community of Prince George," said Greg Stewart, president of Sinclar Group Forest Products, of which Lakeland Mills is a division. "As a company, we believe in this community. Three generations of owners and employees have lived and worked here for 50 years. So this decision is as much about our belief in family and community as it is a good business decision."
Design development on the new sawmill has not been completed, so details such as its size and production capacity are not yet available.
"I have committed from the start to keep our employees and the community informed as soon as we were able to make a decision," said Stewart. "I''m following through with that commitment today. We will make further details available about the new mill as we are able."
The mill will continue to produce stud lumber, with the ability to manufacture metric lengths in addition to the American Lumber Standard. Introducing this flexibility will allow Lakeland to diversify its markets.
The mill will be integrated with the existing planer mill, which is still operational, and the energy system Lakeland operates in partnership with the City of Prince George. It will incorporate the most advanced safety protocols available in all areas of its operations to ensure a safe work environment.
"April 23, 2012 was the worst day in our company''s history, and it began a year of challenge and sorrow for all of us," said Stewart. "I want to acknowledge the families of Glenn Roche and Al Little, the two employees who lost their lives that night. It is in their memory, and to honour all those impacted by this tragic event, that we will rebuild for the future."
Construction is expected to begin this spring and be complete by summer 2014.