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Weyerhaeuser To Mothball Three Plants

Lumber and paper producer said Thursday it will indefinitely shut down the plants because of weak customer demand amid a sagging housing market.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (AP) β€” Lumber and paper producer Weyerhaeuser Co. said Thursday it will indefinitely mothball three plants before the end of 2007 because of weak customer demand amid a sagging housing market.
 
The facilities include Canadian oriented strand board plants in Drayton Valley, Alberta, and Wawa, Ontario, as well as a laminated strand lumber plant in Deerwood, Minn.
 
The decline in North American housing starts has reduced demand for wood products, the company said in a statement announcing the curtailments.
 
About 450 people work at the affected plants and will receive severance pay and job-transition services, Weyerhaeuser said.
 
The Wawa and Drayton Valley plants are two of Weyerhaeuser's nine oriented strand board mills and have a combined annual production capacity of about 885 million board feet.
 
The Deerwood plant is one of three Weyerhaeuser plants that has an annual production capacity of about 6 million cubic feet of engineered strand lumber per year.
 
Once the company fulfills existing orders, the three plants will shut down indefinitely.
 
''At some point we might sell the plants. If market conditions dramatically improve, we might reopen them,'' Weyerhaeuser spokesman Frank Mendizabal said.
 
Weyerhaeuser shares rose $1.18 to $71.60 Thursday.
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