German-based Klausner Holding USA announced five years ago it planned to build a lumber mill in Orangeburg County. Company officials at the time anticipated breaking ground in 2014. The summer of 2017 has arrived and construction has not begun.
Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson declined comment on the project, citing confidentiality as it relates to economic development projects. OCDC Chairman Kenneth Middleton directed all questions to Robinson. Phone calls and emails sent to Klausner President of International Business Development Thomas Mende were not returned.
In 2012, Klausner said it would produce more than 700 million board feet annually of dried lumber and by-products, such as bark, wood chips, sawdust and dry shavings. The project was projected to create more than 300 jobs with a $100 million investment.
The sawmill was planned for about 248 acres at 3374 Rowesville Road, between Orangeburg and Rowesville. In April 2013, the company received a boost when Orangeburg County Council agreed to obtain an option to buy a parcel of property for economic development in the future. County tax records say the property covers 1,094 acres.
In April 2016, county officials said they were still pursuing the project, although nothing was finalized.