Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries will collaborate to build a new $240 million sawmill in Bienville Parish, Louisiana — their second joint venture in the state.
The joint venture company will create 130 direct new jobs with an average salary of $57,400, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the new sawmill will result in 387 indirect jobs for a total of more than 500 new jobs in Louisiana’s Northwest Region.
Sourcing timber locally, the state-of-the-art sawmill will require approximately 1.3 million tons of wood annually to produce an estimated 320 million board feet of lumber. Construction on the new facility is expected to start in early 2022, with operations starting in early 2023.
Hunt Forest Product and Tolko teamed to develop a $115 million lumber mill in Urania, Louisiana, in 2018 that operates under the name LaSalle Lumber Company.
“We are excited to be bringing our second high-tech sawmill and the skilled jobs it will provide,” said Hunt Forest Products co-owner James D. Hunt. “This sawmill will provide a local outlet for the massive inventory of southern yellow pine that exists in this state. It will boost the local economy, bring a new generation of sawmill technology to this part of the state and provide another such outlet for regional Louisiana timber. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Tolko Industries is a 60-year-old, family-owned Canadian forestry company based in British Columbia that produces a wide range of forest products for customers around the world. Hunt Forest Products is based in Ruston, Louisiana.