Canfor Corp. said Thursday (April 21) it will invest approximately $130 million to “significantly upgrade and expand” its sawmill and planer facility located in Urbana in Union County.
The investment will capitalize on high-quality fiber to enhance the manufacturing of high-value products, increase annual production at the facility by 115 million board feet, and result in a meaningful reduction in the facility’s cost structure. The investment aligns with Canfor’s growth and diversification strategy to keep pace with growing customer demand, it said.
“We are excited to be investing in our Urbana facility with state-of-the-art technology to modernize the work environment for our valued employees and significantly increase our ability to produce sustainable wood products that will meet the growing needs of our customers,” said Canfor President and CEO Don Kayne.
The upgrades include major improvements to the planer, sawmill, and log yard. They are expected to commence in the third quarter of 2022 and will take approximately 18 months to complete. The facility will continue to operate while the modernization project is underway.
“With more than 19 million acres of forestland and a ready-made labor force, timber plays an important role in the Arkansas economy,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “It is only natural that Canfor chose to expand their operations in Urbana and invest in the workforce and the community.”
“I am pleased that Canfor has decided to invest in its Urbana mill,” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Arkansas has abundant natural resources and skilled labor in the timber industry that will help Canfor meet the growing demands of its customers.”
Talk Business & Politics will update this story later today.