Edgewood Forest Products unveiled the new production line in its Carrot River sawmill on Thursday, March 4.  The new line is expected to increase productivity, save money and add more jobs in and around the community.

“Once we get the mill up to full operational capacity, in the mill it should add about 25 jobs,” said Kris Hayman, president and CEO of C&C Wood Products Limited, the parent company of Edgewood Forest Products. “Of course to provide enough wood for the mill, the logging industry has to grow and we anticipate another 25 jobs…in that realm as well.”

Those secondary jobs are in the logging/hauling part of the business, driving trucks and operating loaders or feller/bunchers.

C & C Wood Products, based in Quesnel, British Columbia bought Edgewood and a currently shut down plywood plant in the Town of Hudson Bay in 2009.

Before the upgrade, the Carrot River mill could recover about 245 board feet of wood per cubic metre of log. That has increased to a recovery rate of 285 board feet per cubic metre of log, using the new system built by  LINCK, a German company.

“There was two main driving factors when we were looking at the Carrot River sawmill and the upgrade,” Hayman said. “One, we needed to handle a larger log profile than was possible before. Second, and most importantly, we needed to be able to recover as much wood from each log as we could,”

The first log went through the new system in Carrot River about a month ago and so far the startup has exceeded company expectations.

“It looks like we’ve achieved about 75 per cent of what the ultimate target is, which, 20 operating days into start up, is absolutely fantastic,” Hayman said. “We’re extremely pleased and proud of the work and dedication of the team here to make that happen.”

LINCK workers will be on site for the next few weeks and Edgewood anticipates reaching its target output in that timeframe.

The mill as an economic generator, spreads its roots into a much larger area than Carrot River.

“We’re grateful and excited about the future of the mill in Carrot River going forward,” said Hayman.

Geographically and economically, the spinoff reaches out from Carrot River to Nipawin and Hudson Bay then on to Manitoba, west to Prince Albert and beyond.

“This mill is a very integral part of the overall forestry community in the area,” said Hayman.

That’s a refrain echoed by the province as well.

“This state of the art production line will add 50 full time jobs in the region so that’s great news for Carrot River and great news for the province of Saskatchewan,” said Bill Boyd, Minister of the Economy for Saskatchewan. “Saskatchewan is committed to a strong and competitive forest industry in our province.”

Next on C and C’s agenda is examining the potential uses for the plywood plant it owns in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan.

“When we first came out to Saskatchewan we looked at both Hudson Bay and Carrot River and our history and our background and our experience has always been in solid wood, lumber and boards, that sort of thing, so Carrot River has always been the more simple logical choice for us to approach first.” Hayman. “We will be looking in the future at the possibility of starting up in Hudson Bay as a veneer product, which may or may not be dried on site or potentially a full plywood product. That’s the next stage of planning.”

The Working Forest