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LP suspending OSB operations in British Columbia

Louisiana-Pacific joins a growing list of lumber producers who are halting operations.

BY Andy Carlo

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) is the latest company to join a growing list of lumber producers who are curtailing mill operations, primarily in British Columbia.

LP announced that its Peace Valley facility in Fort St. John, B.C., will indefinitely curtail production of oriented strand board (OSB) beginning early in the third quarter.

“Despite efforts by our Peace Valley team to reduce costs over the past several months, this decision is necessary to support the optimization of our OSB business in challenging market conditions,” said Jason Ringblom, LP executive vice president for OSB. “Declining housing starts, high wood costs and associated cost pressures require us to take this action that aligns with our performance driven strategy.”

Sluggish demand and dwindling lumber prices, partially due to a slow housing market in the United States, is leading lumber suppliers to temporarily halt operations.

The curtailment move by Nashville, Tenn.-based LP places it on a list of large lumber suppliers who have already announced that they were suspending operations including Canfor, Interfor, West Fraser and Western Forest Products, among others.

Ringblom added, “This decision ensures that LP is efficiently balancing our commodity OSB production with our customer demand and improving the overall competitiveness of our OSB business. Going forward, we will leverage our strong manufacturing footprint across Canada and the U.S. to meet the needs of our valued customers.”

The Peace Valley OSB mill currently employs approximately 190 people. It has an annual capacity of 800 million square feet (3/8-inch basis), according to LP.

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