Columbia Forest Products to Close Northern Ontario Particleboard Plant Indefinitely

    HEARST, ONTARIO, September 12 /CNW/ - Columbia Forest Products today
announced the company will shut down its Hearst particleboard plant
indefinitely, effective November 12.

    Columbia cited escalating energy costs, low product prices, US/Canada
exchange rate issues, softening demand and a growing market over-capacity as
contributing factors to the plant's closure. The particleboard facility
employs approximately 83; Columbia's total Canadian workforce numbers
approximately 530.

    "We regret that this decision is necessary, but the market conditions
we're facing simply prevent the particleboard operation from performing on a
financially viable basis," Columbia President Brad Thompson said. "We don't
know how long these factors will be in place."

    Thompson said the company would help customers find options to keep their
supply lines full throughout the duration of the plant's closure.

    Founded in 1957, Columbia Forest Products is North America's largest
manufacturer of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer. Columbia's decorative
interior veneers and panels are used in high-end cabinetry, fine furniture,
architectural millwork and commercial fixtures. The company is a leader in
environmentally healthy panel products and sustainable manufacturing.
Employee-owned and based in Portland, Oregon, Columbia employs more than 4,000
and operates facilities in locations throughout the United States and Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Columbia Forest Products John McIsaac,

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