Daily News for July 27, 2021

Business & Politics

More than half a billion investment in sawmills planned across Louisiana amid higher lumber prices

By Kristen Mosbrucker
The Acadiana Advocate
July 26, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Transforming Louisiana’s forests into various tree-based products… is a growing business as developers are on track to build $557 million of sawmill projects in the state. The newest is a $240 million sawmill planned in Bienville Parish by a joint venture between Ruston-based Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries, based in Vernon, British Columbia. The companies plan to use local timber to produce 320 million board feet of lumber annually from 1.3 million tons of trees. Each partner will own 50% of the new mill… but will be operated on a day-to-day basis by Hunt Forest Products. …In exchange for the investment, the Louisiana Economic Development department offered the companies the use of its workforce training program. The businesses are on track to receive $2 million as a performance-based grant if businesses hit investment milestones and payroll. In addition, the project could qualify for up to 80% property tax break.

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Hunt Forest Products, Tolko Industries Announce New Sawmill in Northwest Louisiana

Tolko Industries Ltd.
July 26, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

RUSTON, Louisiana – Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries announced that they will build a $240 million, state-of-the-art sawmill near Taylor, Louisiana. Construction is expected to start in early 2022, and the new facility will employ approximately 60 people when operations begin in the first half of 2023. The sawmill will employ approximately 130 people when it is operating at full capacity. “We are excited to be bringing our second high-tech sawmill to Louisiana,” said James D. Hunt, co-owner of Hunt FP. …The new sawmill project is a joint venture [with] Tolko, a 60-year-old family-owned Canadian forestry industry company. Tolko partnered with Hunt FP to build a modern sawmill in Urania, Louisiana in 2018. …“Our first venture into the US was in partnership with Hunt FP, a family-owned company like ours, and that has been very successful,” said Brad Thorlakson, Tolko CEO. “So, we are looking forward to working with the Hunt family again.”

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High-priced B.C. losing to low-priced U.S. South for forestry investment

By Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
July 26, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Vaughn Palmer

Premier John Horgan says BC-based forest companies should be investing their recent record-high profits in supporting employment in forest-dependent communities here in B.C. …Horgan was responding to the announcement from Canfor that it was reducing operations in BC owing to the wildfire crisis. …That was Wednesday. On Monday came news that… “Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries announce new sawmill in Bienville Parish,” [per] Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. …Tolko is not the only BC-based forest company investing in production in the southern states. Others include Canfor, Interfor, West Fraser, Conifex and Teal-Jones. …“We now have a BC.Interior that is the highest cost jurisdiction in North America, moving there from the lowest cost region two decades ago,” wrote RBC analyst Paul Quinn. The change is a result of a combination of factors, including the reduction in timber supplies, competitive bidding for the remaining wood, government regulations and restrictions on the transfer of timber cutting rights.

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