TORONTO, ON, April 22, 2022 – GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. (TSX: GFP) (“GreenFirst” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Government of Ontario has announced that it is prepared to offer a loan of up to $17.2M (the “Loan Facility”) to support the Company’s plan to relocate and redevelop the Kenora sawmill over the next 3.5 years.
Completion of the Loan Facility is subject to due diligence and negotiation of binding agreements.
If completed, the Company would be able to draw down on the Loan Facility to cover 20% of its eligible project expenditures provided that the Company meets certain performance parameters including but not limited to job-creation targets and other project milestones.
This strategic relocation would open the necessary expansion opportunities to ensure the mill is viable and sustainable. The Company has identified potential locations for a new mill site within the City of Kenora. In doing so, the company would keep jobs in Kenora and could encourage full-time residents to move back to Kenora. All production from the relocated Kenora sawmill is expected to supply the Canadian market as well as the export market in the United Kingdom.
The Company purchased the sawmill out of receivership on October 5, 2020. GreenFirst owns the facility and associated assets, which include 114 acres of land on the shores of the Lake of the Woods. The present site has limitations for sawmill development, and it is beneficial for the Company to relocate.
“Kenora is one of the most picturesque towns in Northern Ontario. We thank Minister Rickford and the Ontario government for their offer of support to relocate the mill,” said Paul Rivett, Chairman of GreenFirst Forest Products. “The land value as a well-planned development far exceeds its value as a sawmill site. We believe the relocation of the mill will unlock the land for redevelopment that would become a source of pride for the community.”
“The future of the forest sector depends on building success through local projects with big impacts,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “By offering to invest in GreenFirst Forest Products, we’re creating local jobs and investing in prosperity in Kenora – ensuring a strong and prosperous forest sector which can provide for communities across Northern Ontario.”
GreenFirst Forest Products is a forest-first business, focused on sustainable forest management and lumber production. The Company owns 7 sawmills and 1 paper mill across Ontario and Quebec. GreenFirst is a significant lumber producer in Canada having an annual lumber production capacity of 905MMfbm, with a goal to increase. GreenFirst’s mills are located in rich wood baskets proudly operating over 9.2 million hectares of FSC® certified public and private Canadian forestlands (FSC®-C167905). The Company believes that responsible forest practices, coupled with the long-term green advantage of lumber, provide GreenFirst with significant cyclical and secular advantages in building products. GreenFirst’s long-term vision is to be a leader in the global forestry industry.
Forward Looking Information
Certain information in this news release constitutes forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws. Any statements that are contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements are often identified by terms such as “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “potential”, “believe”, “intend”, “estimate” or the negative of these terms and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions and, while GreenFirst considers these assumptions to be reasonable, based on information currently available, they may prove to be incorrect. In addition, forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks, including those set out in GreenFirst’s public disclosure record filed under its profile on www.sedar.com. Readers are further cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are placed will occur. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement and reflect our expectations as of the date hereof, and thus are subject to change thereafter. GreenFirst disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Source: GreenFirst Forest Products