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Weyerhaeuser Announces Closure of Plywood Mill in Oklahoma

Oct 24, 2005

In connection with its ongoing strategic review, Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) today announced that it is permanently closing its veneer and plywood facility in Wright City, Okla., effective immediately.


The plywood lay-up operation has been closed since Aug. 29, following a structural collapse of the building housing the plywood presses. In the interim the mill began making veneer and landscape timbers only. Some 100 plywood employees are on layoff.

Following engineering studies, and as part of a strategic review of the company's plywood business, the decision was made to utilize other facilities elsewhere in the Weyerhaeuser system to meet customer demand and to replace Wright City's veneer and plywood production, in lieu of making a capital investment in the Wright City plant.

The Wright City closure will eliminate approximately 250 hourly and salaried positions. Weyerhaeuser is supporting affected employees with transition benefits, severance pay, employment counseling and potential job opportunities at other Weyerhaeuser mills. Affected employees will receive full pay for 60 days, as allowed by the WARN Act.

"Today's announcement is part of the ongoing effort to strengthen Weyerhaeuser's overall portfolio to enhance shareholder value," said Steven R. Rogel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As part of an ongoing strategic review of our businesses and against the backdrop of industry-wide market challenges, we have determined that this mill cannot be made economically sustainable.

"The closure of a mill is a difficult decision, but the reality of difficult markets requires that we allocate our capital with great prudence," Rogel said. "Weyerhaeuser's employees work diligently to make our mills competitive and today's announcement is a harsh reflection of the challenging market conditions we face. We recognize the effect of this closure on the people of Southeast Oklahoma, and we will do our best to work with state and local leaders to assist in the transition."

The Wright City plywood plant, started in 1972, was part of a multi-product wood products complex. Its estimated annual production capacity was 250 million square feet (3/8" basis) of softwood plywood. Other Weyerhaeuser pine plywood facilities are located in Pine Hill, Ala., Mountain Pine, Ark., and Dodson and Zwolle, La.

Weyerhaeuser continues significant operations in Oklahoma, with one of the South's largest softwood lumber mills at Wright City, a containerboard mill and common-carrier railroad at Valliant, and a containerboard packaging plant and Building Materials Distribution center in Oklahoma City. The company also owns and manages more than 500,000 acres of commercial timberland in the state.

Earlier this month Weyerhaeuser announced the indefinite closure of the Prince Albert pulp and paper facility in Saskatchewan due to fundamental challenges in the uncoated free-sheet paper and pulp markets, including excess capacity, declining demand, mounting inventories and weak prices. Last Friday the company announced the permanent closure of a pulp mill and large-log sawmill in Washington state.

Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest integrated forest products companies, was incorporated in 1900. In 2004, sales were $22.7 billion. It has offices or operations in 19 countries, with customers worldwide. Weyerhaeuser is principally engaged in the growing and harvesting of timber; the manufacture, distribution and sale of forest products; and real estate construction, development and related activities. Additional information about Weyerhaeuser's businesses, products and practices is available at

                                               For more information contact:
                                             National Media - Bruce Amundson
                                                              (253) 924-3047
                                                    Analysts - Kathy McAuley
                                                              (253) 924-2058
                                         Local/Regional Media - Kathy Stacey
                                            (580) 981-1431 or (870) 210-0014
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SOURCE: Weyerhaeuser Company

CONTACT: National Media, Bruce Amundson, +1-253-924-3047, or Analysts,
Kathy McAuley, +1-253-924-2058, or Local/Regional Media, Kathy Stacey, +1-580-
981-1431, or +1-870-210-0014, all of Weyerhaeuser Company

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