QUÉBEC CITY — To further secure the supply of quality fibre for Québec sawmills and processors, Solifor is continuing its expansion outside Quebec with the acquisition of Ste-Aurelie Timberlands, a 24,910-hectare forest property in Maine. The $36-million deal is Solifor’s second outside Quebec, bringing its out-of-province investments to $65 million.

Located at the border of Maine and Québec, this property, subject to forest management, is characterized by a mixed forest cover (coniferous and hardwood) and is in full development. The territory’s main customers and users are Québec companies, including Maibec and Groupe Lebel. With transportation being an important cost for Québec sawmills, this transaction will contribute to a better bottom line, according to a Solifor statement.

An initiative of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Solifor has invested $200 million to date to acquire 153,000 hectares of forest land in Québec, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Lotbinière, Charlevoix, Saguenay, Portneuf, Mauricie and Abitibi regions, as well as Maine.

“Solifor is planning other acquisitions to further secure the fibre supply for Québec companies, making it a partner of choice for the Québec forestry industry,” says Raynald Arial, president, Solifor.

Janie Béïque, a senior vice-president with Fonds de solidarité FTQ, comments: “By prioritizing forestry as a sector of excellence, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is showing its clear support for this vital industry and its 160,000 workers. This second investment in Maine offers an innovative solution for our forest industry and will drive job creation and preservation here at home.”