PRINCE ALBERT -- The Government of Saskatchewan has approved a timber allocation for One Sky Forestry Products to advance the development of an oriented strand board (OSB) plant in the Prince Albert area.

The move will provide the company with timber for the plant, with the remainder of the wood sourced from other mills and Indigenous and private logging companies.

"We have been working with our Saskatchewan investors and First Nations partners for over a year to get to this point and are eager to move to the next phase of project development,” said One Sky founder and board chair Brian Fehr in a news release.

The facility will cost $250 million to build, said One Sky Forest Products vice-president of projects Erik Munck. 

One Sky plans to start construction in 2022 and open in fall 2023.

Contracting opportunities for local trades will be available during construction, as well as in the ongoing operation of the OSB facility, said Munck.

Once complete, the OSB plant will have about 120 full-time positions.

Munck estimated the Prince Albert operation will create about another 700 forestry sector jobs in logging, transportation and the service industry.

He said the company has a “priority of hiring a predominantly Indigenous workforce."

The company has partnered with Peak Renewables, local investors and 12 First Nations represented by Montreal Lake Business Ventures, Meadow Lake Tribal Council together with Big River First Nation and Wahpeton Dakota Developments.  

“As an investor in the One Sky Forest Products OSB Facility, Wahpeton Dakota Developments looks forward to contributing to the creation of new jobs and business opportunities in the Prince Albert region,” says Cy Standing, chair of Wahpeton Dakota Developments.

The company is also sourcing fiber through agreements with First Nations and other forestry businesses located in the Prince Albert region.

The facility will have the capacity to produce 600 million square feet of OSB per year.

One Sky said the plant will need 845,000 cubic metres of timber per year to reach its quantity production targets.

"The One Sky project will help achieve the ambitious goal in our growth plan to double the province's forestry sector by 2030,” said Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre.

In 2020, more than $1.1 billion worth of Saskatchewan forest products were sold – an almost 30 per cent increase over the previous year.