Our History

Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd. is an Alberta family owned company that has been in the Alberta Forest Industry for over 60 years. The company originally operated as a sub-contractor and sawed and manufactured lumber for major forest companies that held tenure.

In 1968 the company acquired their own forest tenure quota and as a result established their sawmill in the Red Earth area. The company was incorporated as Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd., and moved their sawmill and operations to the location near Slave Lake where they are today.

Blue Shop (Circa 1973)

Our Facility

The manufacturing facility is located in Mitsue Industrial Park, approximately 15 km east of Slave Lake. Vanderwell’s facility is located adjacent to Highway 2 and is accessible by paved roads and CN rail, who have 3 rail spurs servicing the facility. In addition, the company owns sufficient adjacent land for future expansion of facilities and is ideally located between two ATCO sub-stations that supply a major portion of electricity to northwestern Alberta.

At the Mitsue Industrial site, the company operates a modern, high-tech sawmill/planer operation that has been upgraded several times, the latest being in 2007.  The facility uses the latest scanning technology, and the automatic grade system in the planer mill was the second in Canada, at the time it was installed.  The manufacturing facility produces finished, kiln-dried lumber products, and wood chips for pulp mills. The facility has a rated capacity of 150 million board feet per year.

All residual wood chips produced are sold under long term contracts to Alberta pulp mills. In addition, the company has the flexibility to export chips by rail.  Vanderwell has always strived for high utilization and operates a wood pelletizing plant for the manufacturing of sawdust into wood pellets which are sold in the domestic and export markets.  Residual shavings are captured and manufactured into Bagged Livestock bedding for the North American market.  All residual bark produced is currently sent to pulp mills to produce electrical power, resulting in the entire tree being utilized.