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Trout River Dry Kiln Invests $5.5 Million In Crewe, Virginia, Hardwood Kiln Manufacturing Center

Area Development Online News Desk (03/19/2014)
Trout River Dry Kiln will invest more than $5.5 million to open a major hardwood kiln operation in Crewe, Virginia. The company, which will dry lumber to be made into hardwood flooring, will build nine new kilns and create 40 new jobs in Nottoway County.

In addition to the investment and jobs created in Nottoway County, Trout River Dry Kiln will spend more than $30 million to purchase from Virginia sawmills approximately 34 million board feet of lumber, or 85 percent, of the 40 million board feet the company will need over the next three years. Trout River Dry Kiln will trim, dry, and grade the lumber before sending it to its sister company, Trout River Lumber, to be made into hardwood flooring.

The company’s nine new hardwood dry kilns, with a capacity of 100,000 board feet each, will cure “green” lumber down to a level where it is stable and ready to be manufactured into high-quality hardwood flooring. The kilns will be heated by two large biomass boilers, which will be fueled entirely by sawdust and wood residuals from Trout River’s kiln and flooring operations.

“My company, Trout River Lumber, has been a large supplier to Lumber Liquidators for the past fourteen years,” said John Barber, Owner of Trout River Lumber and Trout River Dry Kiln. “The formation of Trout River Dry Kilns further enhances the vertical integration of hardwood flooring production while providing Lumber Liquidators with hardwood flooring harvested and converted in Virginia. I am pleased by the support we are receiving from Nottoway County and the Commonwealth that is helping us to make this further investment in the Town of Crewe.”

The Commonwealth of Virginia partnered with Nottoway County, the Town of Crewe, and Trout River Dry Kiln on this project, through Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund.

A $100,000 AFID grant is being awarded to Nottoway County to assist the Town of Crewe with site improvements for a 5.26 acre parcel in the town’s industrial park, where the project is located. The parcel, valued at more than $115,000, is being donated to Trout River Dry Kiln and will serve as the required local match for the grant.

“The Trout River Dry Kiln project is an excellent example of an AFID project that helps to create jobs and economic benefits, both at the facility, as well as throughout Virginia’s rural communities,” said Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.

“Sixty-two percent of Virginia is forested, with two-thirds of that land privately held. Trout River’s expansion creates a stronger market for private timber owners, provides jobs for Virginia’s loggers, and increases volume through the Commonwealth’s sawmills. Finding markets for Virginia wood products and helping companies like Trout River invest and create jobs in this important industry sector are among this administration’s highest priorities,” he added.

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