PowerWood Corp. Celebrates Grand Opening of New Agassiz Mill
AGASSIZ, British Columbia, July 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PowerWood Corp., a British Columbia-owned and operated forest company that specializes in custom cedar products, yesterday held a grand opening ceremony at its new mill in Agassiz, located on the traditional territory of the Cheam, Sts’ailes, Sq’éwlets and Seabird Island people.
Led by PowerWood’s general manager, Jake Power, the event featured a virtual appearance by the Hon. Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development.
“On behalf of PowerWood Corp.’s employees, management and ownership group, I sincerely thank Minister Conroy for joining us today to mark this important milestone in our company’s history,” said Power.
“The minister’s participation is especially appreciated because it was her government’s policies – specifically, the implementation of new restrictions on raw material exports – that laid the foundation for PowerWood’s decision to invest $25 million in our new Agassiz mill.”
In January and June 2020, the Province passed two orders-in-council that amended the Manufactured Forest Products Regulation (MFPR), with the twin aims of assisting B.C. mills and workers to obtain greater access to trees and logs (fibre), and promoting greater ‘value-added’ to provincial forest products.
“PowerWood’s expansion is a great example of how the BC forest industry is transforming from a sector focused on high volume to a sector focused on high value,” Minister Conroy said. “This shows how policy combined with business innovation can lead to more jobs for British Columbians, which is really what we’re celebrating here today.”
“The impact of those regulatory changes was to enhance PowerWood’s access – indeed, all provincial forest companies’ access – to fibre,” said Power.
“In turn, that enhanced access gave our company the confidence to invest $25 million in this new Agassiz mill and to prepare to more than double our workforce in the coming years from the current 30 employees to between 60 and 100.”
Founded in Coquitlam in 1995, PowerWood moved to a five-acre site in Surrey in 2002. Nearly two decades after that expansion, the company now is moving to a new 12.2-acre facility located in the eastern section of the Fraser Valley.
Several local dignitaries also attended or participated in the grand opening, notably Kelli Paddon, the local MLA for Chilliwack-Kent. Others included Dan Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack, Chief Andrew Victor of the Cheam First Nation, Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission, Kent’s Mayor, Sylvia Pranger, Brad Vis, MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford, Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, and Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley East.
Also joining the ceremony virtually were the Honourable George Chow, Minister of State for Trade, and Roly Russell, the Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development.
The full opening ceremony can be watched on YouTube.
|CONTACT:||Jake Power, general manager|
|604-882-WOOD or 778.558.1602 |Ext 1005||
“For PowerWood, our focus is to align with people all around the world who share that passion for enhancing B.C.’s amazing resources into products that will do justice to the resource and look great for 100 years or more.” – Jake Power, General Manager, PowerWood
“Forestry is economically important not only to Surrey-Guildford, but also to each and every one of B.C.’s 87 electoral districts. Today, because of PowerWood’s expansion to Agassiz, British Columbia and, notably, the eastern parts of the Fraser Valley are gaining a lot of new high-paying jobs. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.” – Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford (former home community to PowerWood)
“On behalf of Council, we want to welcome PowerWood to our beautiful community.” – Mayor Sylvia Pranger, District of Kent
“PowerWood coming to Agassiz is a game changer. I think PowerWood is going to bring stable jobs to the community. It’s going to provide taxes to the community. But what PowerWood is going to get in return is a workforce like none other.” Brad Vis, MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon
“I’m so excited that policy from the Province of British Columbia has meant growth here in Agassiz-Kent.” – Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent
Images from the day of the opening ceremony can be viewed on Google Drive. Photo credit: PowerWood Corp.
- Mill worker inspects manufactured wood at PowerWood’s new Agassiz facility. (July 7, 2021)
- Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford, speaks at the opening ceremony for PowerWood’s new Agassiz facility. Director Jake Power is seen in the background (from left to right) with MLA Dan Coulter, District of Kent Mayor Sylvia Pranger, MLA Kelli Paddon, and MP Brad Vis. (July 7, 2021)
- From left to right: MP Brad Vis, Director Jake Power, Mayor Sylvia Pranger, and MLA Kelli Paddon cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony for PowerWood’s new Agassiz facility. (July 7, 2021)
- PowerWood Director Jake Power (far right) and co-owners (left to right: Stewart Clark, Dustin Elliott and Brian Helem) cut the cake at the opening ceremony for PowerWood’s new Agassiz facility. (July 7, 2021)
- Director Jake Power speaks at the opening ceremony for PowerWood’s new Agassiz facility. (July 7, 2021)