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Canfor to invest $210 million in new Alabama sawmill complex

Canfor Southern Pine Inc. plans to invest $210 million to develop a new state-of-the-art sawmill complex for manufacturing and processing wood products in the Axis community near Mobile.

“We are excited to be making this investment in a new state-of-the-art sawmill complex that will be built with next-generation, innovative technology and transform our workplace to offer employees a modern facility that will operate for generations to come,” said Tony Sheffield, president of Canfor Southern Pine.

“This investment will allow us to continue our legacy of operations and long-term commitment to Mobile County, enhance our manufacturing ability to better align with the high-quality products our markets demand and, importantly, it’s an investment in our people,” Sheffield said.

The new sawmill will replace its existing facility in Mobile. This investment will allow the company to retain about 130 jobs in a modern work environment, according to an announcement by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.

“This expansion reinforces Canfor’s commitment to the Mobile area, this community and their local workforce,” said Mobile Chamber President and CEO Bradley Byrne. “We’re grateful they’ve chosen to continue investing in our local economy.

“Canfor is an outstanding employer with a strong track record as a community partner,” Byrne said.

 ‘Strategic investment’

The new sawmill will produce 250 million board feet per year using leading technology.

The facility’s design includes investments in a biomass-fueled lumber drying system to help the company meet sustainability and decarbonization goals.

“The expansion of Canfor is a strategic investment in the community, sawmill industry and economy of south Alabama,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “As one of the most heavily forested states in the nation, Alabama has ample opportunity to attract significant new capital investment in the forest industry, and it’s apparent we’re doing just that.

“Mobile — and all of Alabama — has been proud to be the host of Canfor’s U.S. headquarters, and we look forward to seeing their continued, nationwide success after this highly anticipated and much-needed facility growth,” Ivey said.

Canfor expects the new facility to be open by the third quarter of 2024.

“The Mobile County Commission is pleased to see Canfor make this significant business investment in north Mobile County” said Commission President Connie Hudson. “The new sawmill complex will incorporate cutting-edge technology in an industry that has played a very important role historically in our state and local economies. We look forward to their continued growth.”

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.