Roseburg Forest Products will expand its operations in the southeastern United States with the construction of a high-capacity lumber mill in the town of Weldon, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced the project July 1 at a joint news conference with officials representing Roseburg, the state of North Carolina, Halifax County and the Town of Weldon.
The new 375,000-square-foot facility will be called Roanoke Valley Lumber and will be located on approximately 200 acres of land in Halifax County. Construction on the state-of-the-art sawmill is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022, with startup scheduled for later that year. Roanoke Valley Lumber will be one of the highest-capacity sawmills on the East Coast, capable of producing as many as 400 million board feet of dimensional lumber per year.
“Low interest rates, a surge in home remodeling, and growing demand for single-family housing are pushing the industry to increase domestic lumber production capacity as quickly as possible,” Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery said. “This new mill is an exciting strategic growth opportunity that integrates well with our other North American operations and client base. We are grateful to the state of North Carolina, and the county and town partners who helped make this project possible.”
Roseburg is already the largest private timberland owner in the Roanoke Valley area, following its 2017 purchase of 158,000 acres of timberland in North Carolina and Virginia. Once completed, the mill will also make Roseburg a significant employer in the area, with 137 new jobs anticipated over the first two years.
“Our business model of growing trees, converting them into high-quality wood products that improve people’s lives, then replanting to start the process over again is testament to our long-term commitment to our industry and the communities where we operate,” Senior Vice President of Operations Jake Elston said. “We are excited to build and operate a world-class facility, while growing our relationships and serving key clients on the Eastern Seaboard with expanded product offerings.”
Roseburg currently has 14 manufacturing facilities in North America, including the country’s second largest short lumber stud mill in Dillard, Ore. The company carefully selected the site for this new mill, with criteria including market demand, business climate, and workforce readiness at the top of the list. The selected site’s proximity to the company’s Roanoke Rapids timber management office was a factor, as well.
Roseburg has contracted with BID Group to design, build and equip the sawmill complex.