Sawmill sale goes through

WEST FRASER today announced that it has completed the sale of its Skeena
Sawmills Division to Roc Holdings Ltd.

WEST FRASER today announced that it has completed the sale of its Skeena Sawmills division to Roc Holdings Ltd.

The deal to sell to Chinese-owned Roc Holdings Ltd. was first announced in the spring and the intervening time has been spent on sale-related details.

The Skeena Sawmills division includes the Terrace sawmill and related Crown timber tenures to hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of wood a year.

The Terrace sawmill has a single shift capacity of 90 million board feet per year.

The sale conclusion effectively ends decades of West Fraser involvement in this part of the province.

The sawmill closed in mid-2007 during a labour dispute and never did fully re-open when that dispute ended in the fall of 2007. West Fraser cited poor American markets as the reason for not re-opening.

The mill did operate sporadically, chipping logs for West Fraser’s Eurocan pulp mill in Kitimat.

West Fraser continued to wind down its northwest operations with the closure of the Eurocan mill in early 2010.

The conclusion of Skeena Sawmills follows closely the sale July 14 by West Fraser of the former Eurocan mill site to KM LNG, the company wishing to export liquefied natural gas to Asia.

Earlier, West Fraser sold a dock used by Eurocan to Rio Tinto Alcan which will use it as a part of its planned Kitimat smelter rebuilding project.

There are expectations Roc Holdings, which is part of a massive Chinese construction conglomerate, will restart Skeena Sawmills, producing lumber to be used by partner companies in China.

But the company to date has not released details of its plans.

Roc president Teddy Cui did say the company is looking forward to operating in the area.