$4.9 million for OSB mill

By Phil Ambroziak

Embracing change and adapting with the times are two important elements of ongoing business success.
That’s the message Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Rob Clarke expressed last week when he announced $4.9 million in federal funding for Tolko Industries’ Meadow Lake OSB. The funding – which came through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program administered by Natural Resources Canada – is part of a $30.4 million government investment to further the transformation of the forest industry through innovation and market expansion. The program encourages innovative technologies and next-generation forest products. Locally, the money will go toward the implementation of a new strand screening process at the OSB Mill.
“This is very positive news for Meadow Lake OSB and the community of Meadow Lake,” remarked Parker Snyder, plant manager at Meadow Lake OSB. “This will allow us to make a broad range of specialty and commodity-strand based type products on one production line. This is an innovative approach compared to a capital intensive two-line facility.”
Snyder went on to say the project will provide Meadow Lake OSB with the ability to screen the wood strands and, in turn, remove the unusable wood dust and classify the remaining strands.
“Having control of classified strands and usable fines will allow the mill to produce a wider range of specialty products and reduce production costs on commodity products while maintaining or enhancing quality and performance,” he said. “The unique ability to direct strands with targeted moisture contents to either the surface or core layers by manipulating strand flow through the screening process is advancement beyond current forest sector technology in Canada.”
Clarke echoed this statement.
“The innovative technologies funded through this initiative will make Tolko Industries the first facility in North America to produce specialty and commodity oriented strand board products on one production line while enhancing quality and performance of the final product,” the MP noted.
Clarke also said the overall investment will help make Canadian forest products even more attractive and viable in the global marketplace.
Snyder said the project should be completed in about a year’s time.
“Our team is working very hard to get this project completed during the first quarter of 2014 and we are looking forward to seeing this in operation,” he said.

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