Oregon-based Roseburg Forest Products says it will expand its operations in the southeastern United States with construction of a new engineered wood products plant in Chester, S.C.
Roseburg publicly announced the project July 11 at a joint news conference with officials representing the state of South Carolina and Chester County.
“This is an exciting strategic growth opportunity in a business that has done well for us,” Roseburg president and CEO Grady Mulbery said in a statement. “With the continued increase in housing starts in the southeastern U.S., we see ongoing demand growth for engineered wood products in the region and elsewhere. We are grateful to state and local officials in Chester for their hard work and collaborative efforts to facilitate this project.”
Groundbreaking on the planned state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is expected in early 2018, with anticipated operation start-up in mid-2019. Once completed, the plant will create 148 full-time jobs.
“This new plant will be the most technologically advanced manufacturing facility of its kind in the world with the highest capacity continuous LVL press in the world,” said Steve Killgore, Roseburg’s senior vice-president of solid wood business. “Expanding our manufacturing capacity in this way allows us to meet growing customer demand for a versatile product that combines the best of modern processing technology and structural capability.”
The new plant will make Roseburg the largest U.S. manufacturer of engineered wood products serving independent distributors without captive distribution. Roseburg first established its engineered wood products business in 2001 and currently manufactures RFPI Joists, RigidLam LVL and RigidRim rimboard at its plant in Riddle, Oregon.
“Engineered wood products are a key strategic focus for Roseburg, and we have been looking for an opportunity to expand our footprint into the southeastern area of the country for a while now,” Killgore said. “Our products have an established customer base across the country, and this new build will add production closer to those customers, in a region with a welcoming business environment and favorable raw materials costs.”
A significant percentage of Roseburg’s engineered wood customers are located in the southeastern portion of the country. The greenfield project will provide current and new customers access to a stable supply of high-quality LVL product.
Roseburg did extensive research prior to choosing a location for the new plant, with criteria including market demand, raw materials availability and cost, and business climate front and center.
“We have enjoyed close collaboration with state and local officials in Chester County to design a project that can deliver positive results for everyone involved,” Killgore said. “Roseburg is grateful to the state and county for their hard work, and we look forward to a business relationship that contributes to the local and regional economy for many years to come.”
Roseburg plans to close on the property within the next 30 days. The project is contingent upon resolving terms and conditions with local and state officials, finalizing agreements and receiving approval of permits.