Sexton Lumber puts sawmill on temporary shutdown
The Sexton Lumber Co Limited’s Bloomfield sawmill employs 79 workers. All of those workers will be affected as the sawmill shuts down for lack of logs.
The company announced the shutdown today, pointing to the shortage of feed for the mill.
“The sawmill will remain closed until a sufficient log inventory is accumulated to ensure an uninterrupted start-up of the operation,” reads a company statement on the shut down.
The company asked the provincial government for a greater allocation of timber. According to the company, an extra 40,000 cubic metres would have been enough to keep the mill open.
“This request was denied as the timber resource is being held pending a final decision on the proposals submitted under the expressions of interest (EOI) process for the development of the timber resource formerly held by Abitibi–Bowater. There is annual volume of 280,000 cubic metres being held by the government for the EOI.
“This annual allocation has not been harvested since the closure of (the paper mill) in 2009,” states the press release.
The shutdown affects more than the mill’s workers, the company notes. It will also mean the loss of the largest feed of pulp chips to Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, there will be less animal bedding for farmers and less wood for pallet manufacturers.
As reported, the Department of Natural Resources issued a second call for expressions of interest on the Central timber in February. The call closed in late March. To date, there has been no decision on the 14 company offers received.
Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall told The Telegram the collection of proposals has been narrowed down to three possibilities, but would not comment in a late-September interview as to when the resource might be released.