Jasper Lumber Co. and Canada’s Tolko Industries Ltd. formed a partnership that will expand lumber production at a facility in Walker County, Alabama. The $45 million project is expected to create at least 60 jobs.
The investment will triple capacity at Jasper Lumber’s existing sawmill and create additional activity for its other subsidiary companies, which will operate under the parent company Jasper Forest Products LLC, a Jasper-Tolko Partnership. Construction work at the sawmill will begin in early 2021.
“This joint venture project is an important part of our company's growth, and we’re excited to be investing in this mill with Jasper Lumber Co.,” Tolko CEO Brad Thorlakson said. “This is our third U.S. lumber partnership and supports our product and geographic diversification. We’re pleased to support this facility and enhance its sales, marketing, and logistic capabilities to service existing and new customers across North America and abroad.”
“We are very excited to be partnering with Tolko, who has a proven track record and a long family history in the lumber manufacturing business. Our new partnership with Tolko will allow us to have a larger presence in the industry, and in our local community,” said Jasper Lumber COO Roy Beal.
Tolko, a family-owned privately held wood products company based in British Columbia, Canada, will hold a 50% stake in Jasper Forest Products through its U.S. subsidiary. Tolko produces a wide variety of wood-based products including lumber, oriented strand board (OSB), plywood, and pellets. Jasper Lumber, a major industrial employer in Walker County, is also family-owned and has manufactured quality southern pine lumber for over 30 years.
“Alabama’s forest products industry has benefited from a long growth spurt tied to new investment, and the Jasper Forest Products partnership is another great example of the industry’s potential,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “This project will not only create jobs in Walker County but also add vitality to the industry in the region.”
The Walker County Development Authority, the Jasper Industrial Development Board, and the City of Jasper have been working on this project for about a year securing various funding grants to help expand key utility infrastructure to the project.
“Jasper Lumber has long been a major employer and big part of our community,” said David Knight, executive director of the Walker County Development Authority. “Existing industry is the cornerstone of our local economy, and it has been exciting to work with Jasper Lumber and Tolko for the past year on this massive expansion.”