Resource Fiber, a national leader in efforts to manufacture commercial bamboo products, plans to establish its first full-scale production plant in Sulligent, Alabama. The project is expected to create 111 jobs.
The company plans to invest $3.6 million in the Lamar County facility, where it will produce engineered bamboo products such as bamboo nail laminated timbers used in the construction of multi-storied buildings. The company expects to begin hiring and launch manufacturing in the second quarter of 2021.
“We are grateful to have found the right facility and are honored to be a part of the Sulligent community. We also want to thank the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance for the support and assistance they provided in our site selection process,” said Resource Fiber CEO David Knight. “Achieving this milestone is the cornerstone of the U.S. bamboo industry. We look forward to growing the U.S. bamboo products industry starting with our Sulligent manufacturing facility,” he added.
To make the project possible, Resource Fiber received support from the State of Alabama, which is providing incentives under the Alabama Jobs Act, and the City of Sulligent, which purchased a building it is leasing to the company.
The Houston-based Harry E. Bovay Jr. Foundation also provided a grant to facilitate the project. In addition, the company also received a USDA Rural Business Development Grant, administered by the City of Sulligent, to apply towards the purchase of manufacturing equipment.
“Alabama’s economic development team has embraced job creation in the state’s rural areas as a strategic priority, and the recruitment of Resource Fiber to Sulligent is a perfect illustration of that effort,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Not only will the company bring new jobs to Lamar County, but it will also bring a high level of innovative thinking.”
Resource Fiber has engaged in extensive research and development activities focusing on bamboo products, with six U.S. patents and five U.S. patent applications pending. It has developed bamboo railroad ties and a laminated timber system to replace steel roof and floor decks in commercial buildings.
“The result of this team effort will bring over 100 new jobs to rural Alabama and create an epicenter for bamboo product research and development, manufacturing and sales for the U.S., if not the entire world,” David Thornell, president and CEO of the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance said.