Allendale County Welcomes West Fraser
January 11, 2022
Local officials and community leaders in Allendale County are looking forward to a promising New Year since the announcement in December that West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (“West Fraser”) has completed its acquisition of the former Georgia Pacific facility near Allendale, South Carolina, where the company plans to create 135 jobs upon its restart.
“2022 looks bright for Allendale County with the announcement that West Fraser will bring 135 direct jobs to our area,” said Allendale County Council Chairman Rick Gooding. “Every manufacturing job created provides a better opportunity for a family here, and we look forward to welcoming the West Fraser team and assisting them in any way that we can.”
According to the company’s recent announcement, West Fraser completed the acquisition of the oriented strand board (OSB) mill near Allendale for approximately U.S. $280 million on December 6, and the company intends to invest an estimated $70 million of additional capital to upgrade and optimize the facility in preparation for its restart. This work is anticipated to take approximately nine months to complete.
“West Fraser’s investment in our region is great news, giving us a wonderful start to the year,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Marty Sauls. “We are fortunate that the initial private investment in constructing the plant was made in 2005, benefitting people of the entire region through direct, indirect and induced jobs, as well as shared tax revenue for our rural communities until late 2019. The plant has been idle since then, so we are delighted to have West Fraser investing in our people and this facility in Allendale County through their acquisition. West Fraser is an outstanding company and will be a welcome addition to our industrial community.”
The Allendale facility, which initially began producing OSB in 2007, has an estimated stated capacity of approximately 760 million square feet (3/8-inch basis). The mill is expected to directly employ approximately 135 people and be one of the lowest cost mills in the company’s OSB portfolio after the optimization is complete and the mill has ramped up to full production, a process that typically takes 18-24 months after restart.
“We are excited about our acquisition of the Allendale OSB mill and look forward to upgrading the mill to make it another component of West Fraser’s low-cost production portfolio,” said Avery Smith, West Fraser’s General Manager at the Allendale mill.
“We have the leadership, people and know-how to execute on the capital and upgrade plan for this mill and expect to be ready for a restart within nine months of the acquisition closing based on current demand conditions,” added Scott Pearson, Regional Manager at West Fraser.
“After modernization, the Allendale facility will enhance West Fraser’s OSB portfolio with its attractive location in the U.S. South where fiber is abundant and low-cost. The mill’s additional OSB capacity will also give West Fraser the flexibility to better meet customer demand, particularly from large, growing end-markets in the southeastern U.S.,” said Kevin Burke, Senior Vice-President, Wood Products at West Fraser.
The company has already begun hiring in the area. For more information about available positions, please visit www.westfraser.com/careers or contact Allendalescjobs@westfraser.com.
About West Fraser
West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. From responsibly sourced and sustainably managed forest resources, the Company produces lumber, engineered wood products (OSB, LVL, MDF, plywood, and particleboard), pulp, newsprint, wood chips, other residuals and renewable energy. West Fraser’s products are used in home construction, repair and remodeling, industrial applications, papers, tissue, and box materials.
West Fraser shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol: “WFG”. For more information, please visit www.westfraser.com.