Columbia Forest Products to Invest $3 Million in Hearst Mill

    HEARST, ONTARIO, October 5 /CNW/ - North American hardwood plywood leader
Columbia Forest Products today announced it will invest $3 million to upgrade
its Hearst hardwood plywood plant.

    Columbia's capital investment will go toward the purchase of an automatic
wood-patching line. The company says the equipment will significantly improve
hardwood plywood production, allowing it to be more competitive in the market
and more flexible with regard to product mix.

    "We're making these improvements to our Hearst mill because the company
is committed to the plant's success during these difficult economic times,"
Columbia's Canadian General Manager, Tim Schallich, said. "This facility is
essential to our company-wide mission to produce the greenest, most
sustainable products in the industry -- FSC-certified, formaldehyde-free,
prefinished or any combination of such."

    The patching line investment is being made possible by a grant from the
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Prosperity Fund. According to the
company, another contributing factor was wage reductions taken by all Columbia
employees associated with the Hearst site in January of 2007, which
exemplified the plant workers' commitment to the long-term success of the

    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. In 2005 the company converted
all of its hardwood plywood plants to formaldehyde-free manufacturing
processes and introduced PureBond(TM), the industry's first cost-neutral,
formaldehyde-free, decorative hardwood plywood panel. 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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