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REPORTING · 7th April 2011
Merv Ritchie
Terrace Mayor David Pernarowski confirmed today, Thursday, April 7, 2011, he met this week with the pending purchasers of the West Fraser Skeena Sawmill. The Mill on Highway 16 near the western edge of Terrace was the City’s last major industrial employer and has been idle for more than two years.

West Fraser issued a very short press release earlier this week stating they had entered into an agreement to sell the property to ROC Holdings.

This is a direct copy of that news release;

West Fraser Timber today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Skeena Sawmills Division to ROC Holdings Ltd. The Skeena Sawmills Division includes the Terrace sawmill and related Crown timber tenures. The Terrace sawmill has a single shift capacity of 90 million board feet per year. The sale, which is subject to the satisfaction of normal closing conditions, is expected to be completed in 2011.

In a brief conversation with the Mayor today he explained the new owner, ROC Holdings is a Canadian company whose principal is Terry Cui, a Chinese national whose parents are large property holders in China. Pernarowski stated Mr Cui arrived in Terrace along with an associate, Norm Slavic of Norcon Forestry Ltd, to meet with him and discuss their plans. The plan, he explained is to first clean up the property, paint and refurbish the buildings and mechanical where required. They expect to employ 40 people shortly after the deal is completed, hopefully in about eight weeks, to perform this initial work.

The operational plan is to convert the plant into a chipping and debarking operation and by sometime this fall employ upwards of 100 people milling the lumber into dimensional components, likely cants, for export. The purchase includes the associated Tree Farm Licences (TFL's) held by West Fraser. Mayor Pernarowski sugested they would be looking for more sources of timber than that of the West Fraser TFL's.
Sawing cants
Comment by Don Bruce on 12th April 2011
Thank you Mike for the definition of cant. I would further like to say; squaring the log removes unwanted bark and wane, products of low value that would cost more to ship than the return. At the same time the square offers a more compact form to reduce shipping costs and increase efficiency. It is course not going to provide the number of jobs that full manufacture would create but would be a lot better than round log export.
Comment by eddie on 9th April 2011
what about the workers who did not sit around the longest ,but instead put effort into finding other work ,wherever and whatever it may be . If people are to be called back why not some of these go getters?
Comment by Pat on 9th April 2011
I would like to think.. the employees who have been sitting idle longest and still living (and breathing!) within travelling distance, the ones with the most senority, those who have stuck it out the longest! (they still wear their safety jackets with PRIDE) have sawdust in your blood.

These are the men and women who should be called back.
good news...BUT
Comment by Mike on 8th April 2011
it could be better news...the promise of 100 jobs is a good thing for the region of course but i don't believe it should be called the beginning of the region's "economic recovery". If you look up the word "cant" on google you will find that these "cants" are just glorified debarked logs which are still being sent overseas for further processing.

Cant: A large slabbed log on the headsaw, usually having one or more rounded edges, which is destined for further processing.

100 jobs is good news but we shouldn't be satisfied until we are sending out fully processed goods, not "semi-raw logs".
Anothe piece of the puzzle
Comment by Ian on 8th April 2011
begins to take shape on our economic recovery.
The coal plant when it starts will be another.
We need more PLANNED development here to boost all surrounding economies.
Good News
Comment by Barry English on 8th April 2011
Finally, some good news for the Forest Industry in Terrace. Now I just hope that therwe are enough qualified and trained workers left here to staff the mill.