Ruston-based Company to build $240M Sawmill in Bienville Parish

(RUSTON, LA) Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Hunt Forest Products co-owner James D. Hunt and Tolko President and CEO Brad Thorlakson announced that the companies will develop a new $240 million sawmill in Bienville Parish. Resulting from the collaboration of these two companies, the joint venture company will create 130 direct new jobs, with an average salary of $57,400, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the new sawmill will result in 387 indirect jobs for a total of more than 500 new jobs in North Louisiana. Approximately 300 construction jobs will be created.
 
Sourcing timber locally, the state-of-the-art sawmill will require approximately 1.3 million tons of wood annually to produce an estimated 320 million board feet of lumber. The facility will be located on approximately 225 acres in Bienville Parish, near the community of Taylor, Louisiana. Construction on the new facility is expected to start in early 2022, with commercial operations starting in early 2023.
 
“The partnership of Hunt and Tolko is providing tremendous benefits to our state, particularly in the heart of Louisiana’s timber industry,” said Gov. Edwards. “This new facility will be a great economic boost to Louisiana’s Northwest Region, resulting in hundreds of direct and indirect new jobs across the construction, forestry, industrial services and retail sectors of Bienville Parish and beyond.” 
 
The sawmill in Bienville will be the second project resulting from the collaboration of Hunt Forest Products and Tolko. The two companies partnered to develop a $115 million lumber mill in Urania, Louisiana, in February 2018. Operating under the name LaSalle Lumber Company LLC, the Urania plant has created 120 direct jobs, exceeding the initial plans for 107 new jobs.
 
“We are excited to be bringing our second high-tech sawmill and the skilled jobs it will provide,” said Hunt. “This sawmill will provide a local outlet for the massive inventory of southern yellow pine that exists in this state. It will boost the local economy, bring a new generation of sawmill technology to this part of the state and provide another such outlet for regional Louisiana timber. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The new lumber mill will be a foreign direct investment, or FDI, project, as Tolko Industries Ltd. is a 60-year-old, family-owned Canadian forestry company that produces a wide range of forest products for customers around the world. Based in Vernon, British Columbia, Tolko will own a 50 percent share in the mill. Hunt Forest Products, which is based in Ruston, Louisiana, will own the other 50 percent and will manage and operate the mill on a day-to-day basis.
 
“Our first venture into the United States was in partnership with Hunt Forest Products, a family-owned company like ours, and that has been very successful,” said Thorlakson. “So, we are looking forward to working with the Hunt family again to bring another state-of-the-art sawmill, and jobs, to Louisiana.” 
 
LED and North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) began working with Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries on a new sawmill in North Louisiana in October 2020. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the companies a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive services of LED FastStart® – ranked the No. 1 workforce development program in the nation for the past 11 years. FastStart will work in coordination with Bossier Parish Community College, or BPCC, to build and equip the local workforce with the skills required for the new state-of the-art sawmill. The package also includes a performance-based grant of $2 million, subject to the companies reaching specified investment and payroll benchmarks. The companies are expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs for the sawmill.
 
“We are absolutely delighted to hear of the proposed project to develop a new state-of-the-art mill in Bienville Parish,” said President William “Bill” Sims of the Bienville Parish Police Jury. “The Bienville Parish Police Jury will do whatever it takes to encourage economic development in our parish and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries.”
 
“This new, state-of-the-art sawmill will make a notable impact in Bienville Parish,” said Justyn Dixon, NLEP President and CEO. “Where a strong company chooses to invest speaks highly of that geographic location, and we are proud to serve a community suitable for this great partnership. Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries deciding to make this substantial investment and new job creation into North Louisiana solidifies NLEP’s message that our region is a prime location for companies to grow and succeed. We gladly welcome this additional investment to North Louisiana.”
 
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About North Louisiana Economic Partnership
North Louisiana Economic Partnership, an Accredited Economic Development Organization, provides professional economic development services to a 14-parish region of North Louisiana, including lead generation and prospect management. The organization also represents the interests of North Louisiana with a unified voice and as a single point of contact. It acts as a catalyst, a convener, and a connector in the region to ensure that North Louisiana’s economic development potential is realized. Its vision is for North Louisiana to be a thriving region-a destination for high quality talent, innovative companies, and global investment. Visit nlep.org for more information.
 
About Hunt Forest Products
Hunt Forest Products L.L.C. is a full service wood products company founded in 1978 with the purpose of providing quality products and superior service.  We manufacture a variety of plywood, lumber, and other specialty wood products, and whatever the specification, we can meet your needs. Hunt Forest Products is a family owned and operated company practicing sustainable forestry, and we are certified by the American Tree Farm System and APA – The Engineered Wood Association. For more information: http://www.huntforpro.com/
 
About Tolko
Tolko is a leading manufacturer of a wide range of forest products for customers around the world, including lumber, plywood and veneer oriented strand board co-products, biomass power and a growing number of specialty wood products.  For more than 60 years, our family-owned company has delivered reliability, flexibility, efficiency and quality.  We hold third-party certification on the forestlands we sustainably manage in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and we play an active role in the communities where our employees live and work. For more information: http://tolko.com/

23 Responses to “Ruston-based Company to build $240M Sawmill in Bienville Parish”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Why not Lincoln?

  2. Heisenberg Says:

    Thank goodness Walt finally lifted another story, now Hyde can stop writing anonymous comments about what a victim he is

  3. Heisenberg Says:

    Wait, we’re sorry, writing or whining. We’re guessing the latter, Hyde. Good luck with your short tenure with the Marshall’s office

  4. Anonymous Says:

    We are all victims of the corruption all the way from local to national level.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe the marshal’s office can see past the spin of postel and the pj. Although it’s hard to see past some of those accusations.

    Unreconciled bank statements? Hyde
    Unpaid sales tax receipts? Hyde
    Circumventing purchasing procedure? Isn’t webb the purchasing agent? That’s either postel or webb.

    Klepzig seems to be a good guy. I hope he’s watching his back.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Postel equals trouble,always.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Is our police jury and their shenanigans preventing business from coming to our parish? Big business that could bring in tax dollars and make this an even better place to live? Outside of the fact they’re screwing us out of our tax dollars for all this extra staff they’re hiring?

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Was Walker a mask wearer? Praying for his recovery and GOD’S will to be done.

    • Anonymous Says:

      He’s out of the hospital and back home.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Bet he wears one now

        • Anonymous Says:

          COVID messes everything up. I am still stunned by the deniers . The red MAGA hat wearing people who say it’s not a thing and refuse to get the vaccine or wear a mask—When you don’t wear a mask you are just saying I don’t care if your grandma dies. I’ve had two people close to me almost die from it. Guess what folks. It’s not just about you. Just be nice and wear a mask. Let everyone else know you care. Get the vaccine. Otherwise you’re just a jerk. You’re not a patriot fighting for individual rights. You’re a frickiin’ jerk. You’re telling everyone around you that you don’t care a rat’s ass about them.

          • Anonymous Says:

            The next few weeks and months look very bad for our area. Much death and suffering. All could have been avoided by vaccination and herd immunity. Now schools will get shut down again. Restaurants , bars and yes even churches. Tomorrow the gov will make mask mandate again. Our state is so backward.

            • Anonymous Says:

              U right about herd immunity but herd immunity cannot be had Very quickly with all this lockdown,etc

          • Anonymous Says:

            Sounds like a Obama fan,folks

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Jerk I might be to some but for sure I am a critical thinker and if u think a mask and the so called vaccination will completely protect you, you are a dumb ass and will accept any thing from people in government. Vaccine: any preparation of killed microorganisms,living weakened organism, introduced into the body to produce immunity to a specify disease by causing the formation of antibodies. So somebody rightly named the so called covid 19 vaccination “the jab” because it does not do what a vaccine does. I have not a problem with people wearing mask and if u want to protect others stay in your house, order your food from one of those weight loss companies and any other things from Amazon, it can be delivered to your door. Other way u can protect yourself and others is to wear a Haz-Mat suit continuous which would be appropriate for a dumb ass like you.

    • Anonymous Says:

      We see who you are. It’s all about you. You care nothing for anyone else. Just own it.

    • Anonymous Says:

      You’re not very edumacated are you. This is not a vaccine of killed organisms. The take-away from this entire pandemic situation is that we have medical professionals who did their dead level best to fight this thing. And now they know how to do just that. There are prophylactics now. There are ways to fight if to keep people from dying. The vaccines help but they’re not the only thing that does. Take look at https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/FLCCC-Alliance-Call-for-Action-News-Release-Press-Conference-Follow-Up.pdf. Doctors—very prominent ones—who are taking on the medical establishment and the big pharmaceutical companies to say yeah the vaccine works but we could have been doing this a long time ago. They found ways to fight this thing before the vaccine came out. But. Of course. It couldn’t be publicized because if it were our lobbyist friends at the big pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t have a job.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Ask Walker if he agrees

  10. Anonymous Says:

    You right. My motto is “take care of yourself where you can be able to help others”

  11. Anonymous Says:

    “This sawmill will provide a local outlet for the massive inventory of southern yellow pine that exists in this state.”

    In other words, we’re about to revel in the profits engendered by the destruction of native hardwood forests that Willamette began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (Those native hardwood forests would have been exponentially more profitable btw.) However we’ve done a bang-up job of marketing the “piney-woods” moniker to clueless sheep. We’re going to give those “skilled laborers” a little bit of a bribe to keep them happy enough and solvent enough to take care of the future laborers we plan to exploit while they continue to provide us with the real profits.

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