WAWA, ONT. — Forest products firm Wawa OSB Inc. has announced a new online communications tool and held its first citizens meeting in Wawa, Ont. as it prepares for retooling and recommissioning of its wood products plant.
The plant west of Wawa was previously operated by Rentech and idled in February 2017. Previous owners included Weyerhaeuser and MacMillan Bloedel. The new plant will produce oriented strand board (OSB), a building material for new homes, stated a release.
The value of the upgrade is $190 million. The provincial government announced in April it was contributing $15 million. The plant is scheduled to return to operation in the fall of 2023.
The provincial government stated Ontario has a competitive advantage over other jurisdictions in the production of OSB because of its abundance of low-grade poplar and birch. The Wawa OSB plant will become the province’s third OSB manufacturing facility.
Wawa OSB is family-owned, run by the Cossette family.
The key markets for the plant’s production will be 70 per cent to the U.S. and 30 per cent within Canada.
“It was a great opportunity for us to meet and discuss with the citizens and communities who are at the heart of the project. We are pleased to have been able to reveal the main steps in the relaunch of the plant, share the entrepreneurial story of the Cossette family, present job opportunities, identify the concerns of citizens and answer their questions,” stated Yolaine Rousseau, executive vice-president of Wawa OSB, after the citizens meeting.