Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.
TSX : ANS

Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.

May 12, 2005 03:31 ET

Ainsworth Announces Two New OSB Facilities in Prince George and Quesnel

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - May 12, 2005) - Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. ("Ainsworth") (TSX:ANS), one of the Ainsworth Group of Companies, announced today its intention to construct two state-of-the-art oriented strand board (OSB) mills in Prince George and Quesnel, British Columbia.

Combined capital costs of the two investments are projected to exceed $400 million. The two mills will produce approximately 1.5 billion square feet (3/8" basis) of panels annually. The two projects are expected to create 250 direct jobs in the facilities and another 500 jobs in related woodlands operations.

One of the many benefits of the new Ainsworth OSB mills is that they will use logs from beetle-killed pine stands that have degraded to a state which makes them undesirable for lumber production. Studies conducted for Ainsworth have shown that high quality OSB can be produced from dry pine for three decades after infestation. The plan to use this timber is indicative of Ainsworth's continuing product innovation and its commitment to responsible and sustainable forest stewardship.

The company was the highest bidder for two large beetle licences in the central interior offered by the Ministry of Forests. Ainsworth acknowledges that the First Nations consultation process, required by the Province prior to issuing the licences is still ongoing. The company is optimistic that this issue will be successfully resolved within the coming months. Upon licence award by the Province and further community communication, a definitive construction schedule and final site locations will be identified. The licences are expected to allow Ainsworth to access 1.4 million cubic metres of dry pine timber annually.

The completion of the Prince George and Quesnel projects will bring to five the number of mills operated by Ainsworth in British Columbia, the others being 100 Mile House, Savona (plywood) and the veneer mill in Lillooet.

About the Ainsworth Group of Companies

Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., one of the Group of Ainsworth Companies, is a leading Canadian forest products company with a 53-year reputation for high-quality products and customer service. The company has operations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, Canada as well as Minnesota. AinsworthEngineered® OSB sheathing and flooring products are certified to APA quality standards and known for their consistent quality, reliability and competitive price.

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