In the United States (US), Canada-headed forest industry major Tolko Industries Ltd has announced that it has partnered with Louisiana-based Hunt Forest Products LLC in a joint venture (JV) to build a state-of-the-art sawmill near Urania, Louisiana (LA). To be completed by December 2018, the LaSalle Lumber Company, the JV company building and operating the new mill, will employ approximately 110 people and will produce Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) lumber from timber sourced from the region.
According to a joint statement, construction of the approximately US$115 million project is expected to commence in April and be completed by December 2018. It will employ approximately 110 people and will produce Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) lumber from timber harvested in the surrounding area.
The LaSalle Lumber Company, the joint-venture company building and operating the new mill, is named after LaSalle Parish, the county in Louisiana where the mill will be built next to a wood pellet plant.
This is our first venture into the United States, and we are thrilled to be in Louisiana with Hunt Forest Products, a family-owned company like ours, and one that has played a vital, reliable role in Louisiana’s forestry industry for more than a century, said Brad Thorlakson, President and CEO of Tolko Industries.
The scope of the project includes a 200 million-board-foot (≈ 471 000 m3) facility that will consume approximately 850 000 tons of timber annually, three continuous dry kilns and a planer facility.
Woodchips, sawdust, planer shavings, and hog fuel will be contracted to Drax Biomass Inc (DBI), which operates LaSalle BioEnergy – a 450 000 tonne-per-annum wood pellet plant that started up in November 2017.
We are excited to be bringing a high-tech sawmill, and the skilled jobs it will provide, to central Louisiana, and provide a local outlet for the massive inventory of southern yellow pine that exists in this region, said James D. Hunt, Co-Owner and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hunt Forest Products.
About Tolko and Hunt
Tolko Industries Ltd is a Canadian family-owned forest products company and manufactures lumber, plywood, veneers and oriented strand board (OSB) and specialty wood products. The company holds third-party certification on forestlands it manages in British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), and Saskatchewan (SK). Founded in 1978, Hunt Forest Products LLC is a family-owned full-service wood products company and manufactures a variety of Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) plywood, hardwood lumber, and other specialty wood products in Louisiana (LA).