Forest Industry in Outaouais – The Québec Government Announces a Consolidation at Lauzon (Thurso) - Ressources Forestieres
THURSO, September 12, 2006 - The Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Raymond Bachand, the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife, Pierre Corbeil, the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Francophones within Canada, the Agreement on Internal Trade, the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Access to Information and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, Benoît Pelletier, and the MNA for Papineau and government Chief Whip, Norman MacMillan, have announced financial assistance of $6.3 million for the Outaouais company Lauzon (Thurso) - Ressources forestières to modernize its sawmill, and the acceptance of a timber supply scenario to encourage the consolidation of the company.
The project, the first of its kind in the region, represents investments of $19 million that will be applied to convert the Thurso sawmill into a hybrid plant incorporating primary and secondary processing of hardwood. Modernization of the production process will double the manufacturing capacity for wood floor specialty products.
The assistance, provided under the Strategic Investment Support Program (PASI) administered by Investissement Québec, consists of an interest-free loan of $2.85 million over seven years and a contribution repayable by royalties of $3.45 million over ten years.
"This investment will enable Lauzon to secure its future by focusing on innovation and modernization of its Thurso plant, putting it at the leading edge of technology. This is excellent news for the region, and for its forest industry," Minister Bachand said.
The ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune concluded a new supply agreement with Lauzon (Thurso) - Ressources forestières to guarantee supplies of the type of hardwood needed to operate the new plant.
Minister Corbeil, who was involved in this consolidation project from the outset, said he was proud of the results obtained. "The new timber supply scenario for the various Lauzon plants we have proposed has been accepted by the company, showing that working in partnership with each company leads to solutions adapted to each specific problem. That is how we will get through the difficult situation the forest industry is experiencing at present," Mr. Corbeil stated.
Sawmill activities are strategic for the consolidation of Lauzon Ressources forestières and timber supplies for many other companies in the region. The requirements of the new Thurso plant were estimated at 255 000 cubic metres of which 210 000 cubic metres to be supplied from the public forest.
"This announcement is an undeniable opportunity for sustainable development, at both the economic and social levels, in the Outaouais region. This modernization will allow hiring of qualified manpower from all of the Outaouais and keep our region competitive in the forestry sector," Minister Benoît Pelletier said.
"Our region can take great satisfaction from this major announcement. Particularly because the region is keeping Canada's largest maker of wood floors as well as the largest employer in the villages where its plants are located," MNA MacMillan concluded.
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