Tolko mill at Heffley Creek shuts down due to northern B.C. pipeline explosion

By Ashley Legassic
October 11, 2018 - 11:30am

KAMLOOPS — Tolko mills across the Interior are being impacted by a natural gas pipeline explosion near Prince George, and the company's Heffley Creek location has shut down until further notice.

Tolko Industries says in a news release that plywood and lumber operations in Kamloops, Quesnel and Williams Lake are being impacted, but only the Kamloops mill at Heffley Creek has been affected.

“We have three operations in these communities that rely on natural gas for part or all of their production processes,” Troy Connolly, Solid Wood vice president says in the release. “As a result, our Heffley Creek plywood operation north of Kamloops has been shut down and our dry kilns at Soda Creek in Williams Lake and Quest Wood in Quesnel are offline until further notice. These two locations are still running, however, as neither the sawmill nor planer rely on natural gas.”

Connolly adds that it's too early to determine what the full impact may be on operations.

“Right now, these are the only operations affected by the explosion, however, we will maintain regular contact with Fortis B.C. and monitor the situation to see if any others will be impacted," he says.

Affected operations will continue to operate for as long as possible, the release states, and will adjust their production schedules to minimize potential downtime and impact to customers.

Vice President of Tolko Marketing and Sales, says the team will do its best to minimize customer impact.

Different companies across B.C. have taken steps to limit their natural gas use after Tuesday night's explosion, including Domtar's Kamloops pulp mill location, which has decreased its production but there have been no impacts on staffing at this point.

Kamloops gas prices expected to drop leading into the weekend