From: Timber Processing Editors

Southern pine lumber sawmills will soon be spreading like kudzu, with four companies in the past 10 days making announcements that they’re building new ones.

Rex Lumber Co. plans to invest $110 million to build a sawmill with a minimum 240MMBF annual production capacity near Troy, Ala.

Rex Lumber currently operates three sawmills, two in the Florida Panhandle and one in Mississippi, producing a total of 575MMBF annually.

Site work at the new Pike County sawmill is scheduled to start on March 15. Pike County was chosen over sites considered in several other Southern states.

Rex Lumber, founded in the 1920s by W.D. McRae, continues to be owned and operated by the Finley McRae family of Graceville, Fla.

Hunt Forest Products, based in Rushton, La., and Tolko Industries of Canada will partner and build a $115 million sawmill in Urania, La.

The venture will operate as LaSalle Lumber Company LLC and will be managed by and operated by Hunt on a daily basis.

Construction is expected to start in April, and the new facility will employ 60 when operations begin in January 2019 and will employ 110 at full capacity.

It is estimated the mill will require 850,000 tons of wood annually to produce approximately 200MMBF of lumber annually, according to the company.

The facility will be located on 125 acres of the old 285-acre Louisiana-Pacific sawmill site. Drax Biomass now occupies the other 160 acres of that site, and the new sawmill is planning to supply residuals and wood fiber to Drax for use in manufacturing wood pellets.

Georgia‐Pacific announced it will build a sawmill at Warrenton, Ga. on property adjacent its existing lumber mill. Construction of the $135 million plant is scheduled to begin this summer. GP expects the facility to produce 350MMBF annually.

GP is currently constructing a sawmill in Talladega, Ala. that GP says will begin production this summer. The Talladega and Warrenton sawmills are two of several that GP reports it is planning to build.

Also, Canfor Corp. announced its plan to build a sawmill in Washington, Ga. with an investment of $120 million and with a production capacity of 275MMBF annually. The mill will be located near the company’s glulam facility in Washington.

However, shortly after that announcement, Canfor followed with an announcement that the contractor it had selected to build the Washington sawmill had informed Canfor of a previous commitment that may prevent the contractor’s construction of the Washington mill.

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