Conifex Timber Inc., a Canada-based forestry and sawmilling company, will re-start a state-of-the-art sawmill complex, formerly owned by Georgia Pacific, in El Dorado, Arkansas.
Primarily engaged in the manufacture of structural grade Spruce Pine Fir dimension lumber, the company plans to modernize the existing facility and create a state-of-the-art mill in El Dorado producing 180 million board feet initially. The company expects to create approximately 120 new, full-time jobs as a result of its approximate $80 million commitment to the facility.
“This project provides Conifex with access to lumber and timber markets in the US South. Our commitment of $80 million to this facility will ensure the long term sustainability of this site and contribute to our overall company growth,” said Conifex CEO Ken Shields. “We are pleased by the warm welcome and professionalism of the government and private sector partners we have worked with here in El Dorado and throughout the state."
Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Conifex Timber Inc. was established in 2008 when it acquired its first idled sawmill in British Columbia. A second mill followed two years later as well as a biomass power plant that has been in operation since 2015. The company has invested about $80 million in two Canadian sawmill complexes and related businesses as well as $100 million is its green power generation business, creating over 500 jobs. This will be Conifex’s first facility in Arkansas and the Southern US.
“Timber plays a vital role in our state’s economic vitality,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The industry directly employs more than 37,200 workers in Arkansas, and I’m thrilled to welcome Conifex to the state. This will have a significant economic impact on many families throughout South Arkansas.”
“The positive impacts of the plant are many fold,” said El Dorado Mayor Frank Hash. “From timber owners, timber harvesters, timber processors, plant maintainers/suppliers and product transporters, the economic gains to all will be significant! The City of El Dorado welcomes Conifex.”