Boise eyeing up Kenora OSB site

Boise Cascade could be looking at setting up another oriented strandboard (OSB) mill in Northwestern Ontario now that Tolko is out of the picture in the Kenora area.
Percy Champagne, mill manager at Voyageur Panel in Barwick, confirmed yesterday that Boise Cascade had submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Natural Resources to establish such a mill in Kenora.
The MNR invited companies to submit proposals for developing a new mill in the Kenora area that would use the existing supply of surplus hardwood.
Area municipal and First Nations leaders also have been advised of the opportunity.
The ministry is seeking a proposal that will produce maximum benefits from the wood supply. It would like to see a new mill that will produce “value added” products.
Proposals will be accepted until Feb. 12.
Champagne stressed this was Boise Cascade’s move, not Voyageur Panel’s, and that he didn’t know how the company plans to set up the mill there.
But he did say Boise Cascade always has been interested in having an OSB mill in Kenora–especially now since Tolko no longer has first dibs on the wood basket.
And from the local mill’s point of view, Champagne said it would be great to have a companion mill close by.
“There’s a lot of synergies that could happen that could probably enhance the operations for both facilities and both communities,” he said.
“There’s a lot of good things that could happen.”
Doug Bartells, corporate communications rep for Boise Cascade, could not be reached for comment by press time today.