Sawmill reopening in southwest Louisiana with new owner

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters at a briefing on the state’s efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, May 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Wood products company Interfor Corp. will reopen an idled sawmill in southwestern Louisiana, creating 170 jobs at the facility.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Interfor on Friday announced the company’s plans to spend up to $8 million to revive the old Georgia-Pacific sawmill near DeQuincy. The new workers will earn an average salary of $62,000, plus benefits, according to the governor’s office.

“Louisiana’s lumber industry is one of our most profitable agricultural exports, and the market for lumber is red hot right now,” Edwards said in a statement praising the investment.

Interfor, one of North America’s largest lumber producers, recently bought the facility after it was shuttered in May 2020. The mill has an annual lumber production capacity of 200 million board feet. The Canadian company said it plans to restart operations in the first half of 2022.

“We greatly appreciate all the support in getting this mill back up and running,” Bruce Luxmoore, Interfor’s senior vice president of Southern operations, said in a statement.

The state said it will give the company a property tax break and tax incentives for creating high-paying jobs with benefits, and also will help the company with workforce training.

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