NZ sawmill reviewing its operations
Friday 4 Sep 2020A Blenheim sawmill employing 75 staff could close as an “urgent” review of operations is carried out. Timberlink New Zealand has been negatively impacted by higher log costs, lower Asian prices, and a strong New Zealand dollar since it purchased the mill in 2015.
Timberlink chief executive Ian Tyson said the company was “at the mercy” of a number of factors outside its control, and it was “difficult to see those changing anytime soon. It has become clear that we need to seriously consider whether the business is sustainable,” Tyson said. “This includes the potential for our manufacturing operations to close. We have tried hard to avoid the need for a review and arriving at this point is extremely disappointing. Staff were informed of the review last week.
“We have a really talented team in Blenheim, and we really feel for them. We also know this will be a big blow for the local community during these uncertain times,” Tyson said. “While Covid-19 has had an impact on the markets we distribute to, it is not the driving force for this review.”
Timberlink was meant to be providing the site with an update on September 8. The review was being carried out in conjunction with PwC. The sawmill, off Battys Rd, was taken over by Australian company Timberlink in September 2015, after they bought the site from Flight Timbers. It had invested more than $10 million into the Blenheim site, where it processed 123,000 tonnes of radiata softwood log from South Island plantations.
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