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B.C. announces funding for eight manufacturing projects

The funding intends to support new resource-sector jobs
Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, speaking at the announcement in Prince George. | Hanna Petersen, Prince George Citizen

New funding for six wood-product manufacturers and two fabricated-metal manufacturers was announced at the BC Natural Resources Forum in Prince George on Wednesday morning.

The province is contributing as much as $8.6 million through the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF) to fund eight new capital projects to help manufacturers grow and diversify their operations through new production lines, equipment and innovative technology, setting the stage for long-term sustainability while establishing new jobs and preserving existing positions.

"Natural resources helped build this incredible province and the local economies that are the foundation of B.C.," said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation.

"The BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund helps B.C.'s forest-sector operators modernize and adopt the new, innovative technologies that get more jobs out of every tree harvested, while creating secure, sustainable jobs in forestry."

Funding through the fund is part of a series of programs the province has introduced to support the growth of value-added manufacturing in B.C.'s forestry sector.

In January 2023, the Ministry of Forests introduced a new value-added manufacturing program to establish a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers. 

The province said it is working with the value-added manufacturing sector to increase the flow of fibre and find ways to expand local production of high-value wood products. 

The projects funded include:

  • San Industries Ltd., a vertically integrated forestry company that produces value-added and engineered wood products, will receive as much as $2.5 million to support purchasing new equipment, optimizing its processing line and constructing a new storage facility at its Port Alberni plant. The project will enable better use of diversified fibre sources in creating value-added products and help it enter new international markets, while creating 30 jobs.
  • Richmond Plywood Corp. Ltd., is receiving as much as $2.3 million to purchase and install new, innovative equipment to enhance its value-added manufacturing processes using second-growth fibre and waste wood. The capital project will result in Richmond Plywood upskilling 24 employees to higher-paid, skilled positions and will create 14 jobs at the company.
  • Coast Tsimshian Resources LP is a forestry company fully owned by the Lax Kw'alaams Band near Prince Rupert. It will receive as much as $970,000 for the acquisition of an industrial chipper and peripherals, which will allow increased the utilization of its fibre basket, while decreasing residual wood waste. It will ultimately create a new business stream for Lax Kw'alaams Band, while creating 108 direct and indirect jobs.
  • Downie Timber Ltd in Revelstoke is a lumber-milling and remanufacturing wood processor. It will receive as much as $825,000 to purchase and commission a new debarker system, alongside facility upgrades that will enable the company to reduce reliance on old-growth fibre and optimize operations, while protecting 229 existing jobs within the company.
  • Sunrise Engineering & Manufacturing Inc. in Delta is a fabrication facility that provides welding, machining and assembly services that specialize in the manufacturing and repairing of a wide variety of pulp mill equipment. It will receive as much as $805,000 for its project to acquire new advanced manufacturing equipment including four CNC machines that will increase their capacity and competitive advantage, improve efficiency and create five skilled jobs.
  • Access Precision Machining Ltd. In Salmon Arm is an advanced manufacturing machining and fabrication service provider that manufactures custom machined parts for various industries including oil and gas, aerospace and commercial sectors. It will receive up to $800,000 to purchase seven new machines, including six CNC machines, to help grow its market in priority sectors with international exports, increase productivity and create as many as 18 jobs;
  • Yarrow Wood (2012) Inc. in Chiliwack is a lumber remanufacturer, providing custom square and rectangular lumber remanufacturing for forestry companies. It will receive as much as $130,000 to upgrade equipment that will support profiling lumber in-house, including its moulder, infeed/outfeed and blower system, which will allow it to process a wider variety of value-added wood products using a broader scope of log species and creates as many as seven jobs; and
  • C.W. Creative Woodcraft Ltd. In Cobble Hill is a cabinet and millwork manufacturer specializing in using local, second-growth fibre. It will receive as much as $286,000 in funding to support the expansion of its existing facility and the acquisition of new machinery to double its production capacity, optimize production, reduce waste and create as many as 14 jobs.