Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.

Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.

June 02, 2005 20:53 ET

Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. Announces $200 Million Expansion of Grande Prairie OSB Mill

GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - June 2, 2005) - Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. (TSX:ANS) today announced that it is ready to proceed with a $200 million expansion of its oriented strand board (OSB) mill near Grande Prairie. This expansion project will increase annual production capacity by approximately 600 million square feet (3/8" basis) and will include the construction of a hardwood sawmill in Valleyview, Alberta, about 106 kilometers east of Grande Prairie. Both the OSB mill expansion and the sawmill are expected to be completed by early 2007.

The expansion will include the addition of a second production line at the existing Grande Prairie site that will be capable of producing both OSB and other engineered wood products. Once completed, the expanded Grande Prairie mill will have an annual capacity of nearly 1.3 billion square feet (3/8").

Ainsworth's $200 million investment will provide an additional 300 direct jobs in the Grande Prairie and Valleyview area. The Valleyview facility itself is expected to employ 15 people in the production of hardwood sawn lumber products.

"We are extremely pleased that this project has come together," said Allen Ainsworth, President. "It has taken us more than five years to make this project viable and we are extremely grateful to the Grande Prairie and Valleyview communities for their ongoing support. This expansion complements our existing operations and strongly positions the Grande Prairie mill to continue to be one of the performance leaders in our industry."

The Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, the Honourable Dave Coutts, said, "The Government of Alberta is very pleased that another forestry project benefiting Albertans is underway. This project will not only produce a high quality wood product but will serve to enhance Grande Prairie's growing economy."

Ainsworth has been in operation since 1950. The company has operations in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Canada and Minnesota, and is continuing to strengthen its market position with these further investments in the Alberta forest industry.

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