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Growing the forestry industry

Posted on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 11:06 am

At events in Martinsville and Kinsale, Governor Ralph Northam announced that British Columbia-based Teal-Jones Group is investing a total of $31.75 million to expand sawmill and dry kiln operations at two recently acquired lumber mills in Virginia. At Pine Products Inc. in Henry County, the company will invest $21 million and create 67 new jobs and at Potomac Supply, LLC in Westmoreland County, the company will invest $10.75 million and create 59 new jobs.

Virginia successfully competed with Oklahoma and Washington for the projects, which will include new equipment and updates to the facilities. The company is committing to source 100 percent of its net new timber purchases from the Commonwealth, which over the next four years is expected to top $100 million.

“This major investment by Teal-Jones Group in Virginia’s forestry industry is evidence of the world-class workforce, critical infrastructure, and abundant natural resources that make our Commonwealth the best place for business,” said Governor Northam. “Wood products companies across all parts of the world continue to deepen their roots in Virginia, and we are thrilled to see this momentum continue with Teal-Jones Group’s decision to expand in the Commonwealth. Together, these projects will bring new jobs and economic vitality to our rural communities and help create the markets needed for sustainable forest management.”

In operation since 1946, Teal-Jones Group is the largest privately held forest products company operating on the West Coast of Canada. The family-owned company, headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia, operates eight mills in Canada, as well as mills in Antlers, Oklahoma, and Suma, Washington. Combined, these projects represent the company’s largest new investment in the United States to date.

“Teal-Jones Group’s decision to create a total of 126 new jobs and nearly triple its lumber production in two rural regions of the Commonwealth is a tremendous win for Henry and Westmoreland Counties, Virginia’s forestry sector, and the industry employees and forestland owners,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Abundant raw materials and an advanced logistics infrastructure have made Virginia the location of choice for wood products companies from around the world, and we are thrilled that an international company of Teal-Jones Group’s caliber will make this significant investment in the Commonwealth.”

The Teal-Jones facilities in Virginia manufacture dimensional Southern yellow pine lumber in a variety of grades and sizes. Most product is kiln -dried and sold to a variety of manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, both domestic and international, for use in a wide range of construction and project applications. The company’s investments in state-of-the-art sawmills, dry kilns, and other manufacturing equipment will help ensure a strong market for forestland owners in the region.

“With 62 percent of the Commonwealth covered by forestland and two-thirds of that land privately owned, having a robust forest products industry in Virginia is crucial for strong rural economies and to incentivize landowners to actively manage their lands,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am thrilled with today’s announcement by Teal-Jones and look forward to a long partnership with them to support and grow Virginia forestry, which is the Commonwealth’s third-largest private industry.”

For the full article, pick up the latest Westmoreland News 10/2/19