The forest Industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is valued at $383 million annually and provides direct and indirect employment to over 5,000 people. A mainstay for rural Newfoundland, the sector produces a variety of products that can be classified in the following four areas.
Pulp & Paper
The pulp and paper sector consists of manufacturing businesses that use primarily raw wood to produce a wide variety of pulps, paper and paperboards. Newfoundland and Labrador has one main pulp and paper mill that produces chiefly newsprint using a thermomechanical pulping (TMP) process. Black spruce and balsam fir are the primary feedstock for the mill.
In the province, the pulp and paper sector and the sawmill sector are highly dependent upon each other. Sawmill residue (chips) is used as feedstock by the mill while larger size sawlogs are redirected to the sawmills for lumber production.
Newfoundland and Labrador has a strong sawmilling sector comprised of three main, large mills and an assortment of smaller operations. The main mills account for over 95 percent of the lumber produced in the province. The mills are equipped with the latest in sawing technology and in addition to producing dimensional lumber, have the capacity to finger-joint and kiln-dry. About half the lumber produced in the province is sold here, while the remainder is shipped to Eastern Canada and the United States. Historically, due to the smaller size of feedstock in the province, lumber size had been limited to two by four, or two by six under 12 feet. However, innovative technology like finger-jointing has allowed mills to branch out and expand operations in recent years.
Value-added is a term used to describe products that have been manufactured from logs or rough lumber and are turned into higher grade, finished products. Value-added products produced in the province include log siding, cabinets and doors, roof trusses, mouldings, furniture and other types of millwork. Many manufacturers acquire their raw material from local sawmills and most products are sold locally. Value-added manufacturing is an important contributor to economic growth in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The people of Newfoundland and Labrador have relied on wood as a form of energy for generations. Today, it remains an essential source of residential heat for many homeowners, mainly in the form of firewood, wood briquettes or wood pellets. Although domestic woodcutting is still widely popular, commercial firewood harvesting is a substantial component of the industry. Due to the convenience, wood pellets and briquettes have gained in popularity, and in recent years we have seen a rise in commercial production in the province.