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No path to restarting Taylor mill, Canfor says

CANADA (From news reports) -- Canfor Corp. says it is does not see a path forward to restarting its pulp mill operations in Taylor, and has begun exploring alternative uses for the site.

The company made the update in announcing its fourth quarter results Tuesday afternoon.

"As a result of a reduction in the long-term supply of fibre in the Peace region, the Company does not see a path forward to restarting the Taylor mill at this time and is exploring alternative uses for the site," the company stated.

The mill, which produced bleached chemi-thermo mechanical pulp, has been through a wave of curtailments since December 2021, first in response to shipping interruptions brought on by severe flooding in the Lower Mainland.

The mill was curtailed again for what was to be a "minimum" six weeks in February 2022. That was followed by another six-week extension announced at the end of last March, which was extended indefinitely again in May.

Canfor reported an adjusted operating loss of $59 million for its pulp operations in 2022, and an adjusted net loss of $43 million, or $0.66 per share. The company says pulp production in the fourth quarter was "faced with fibre shortages and challenging winter weather conditions"

In early January, the company announced plans to permanently shut down the pulp line at Prince George Pulp and Paper by March.

When the Taylor mill was curtailed indefinitely last spring, about 80 employees were affected, with a small maintenance crew of 20 kept on to facilitate shipments as rail cars were received.

In B.C., more than 800 mill jobs have been lost in less than a two-month span due to sawmill and pulp mill closures in Chetwynd, Prince George, Houston, and Port Alberni.

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