Western Forest Products buys lumber-processing centre in Washington state

Western Forest Products CEO Don Demens among thousands of seedlings at the company's Saanich forestry centre in 2014 | Photo: Darren Stone, Times Colonist

In a bid to offset the added costs of crippling American softwood lumber duties, Western Forest Products has bought its first lumber-processing centre in the U.S.

In a deal worth $9 million US, Western has acquired Hampton Lumber Mills’ processing and distribution centre in Arlington, Washington.

“This acquisition is a natural fit for Western as it allows us to increase the production of targeted, finished products while also providing a centralized warehousing and distribution centre to more effectively service our selected U.S. customers,” Western chief executive Don Demens said Thursday.

“This asset in Washington state also strengthens our global competitiveness by positioning Western to mitigate the damaging effects of duties on our products destined for the U.S. market.”

Western spokeswoman Babita Khunkhun said the new site lets Western manufacture finished products it doesn’t already produce.

“Since duties are calculated on the sales price of products, further processing of products in the U.S. mitigates some of the damaging effects of duties on products destined for U.S. customers,” she said.

The acquisition, which is expected to close in January, should have no impact on Western’s unprocessed log exports. The facility does not process logs.

Times Colonist