Jasper Lumber Company and Canada’s Tolko Industries Ltd. have formed a partnership that will expand lumber production at a Walker County facility through a $45 million project creating at least 60 new 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. Plans call for the construction of new facilities, the installation of new machinery, and increased shifting at the mill.
“The venture between Jasper Lumber and Tolko Industries will deliver a significant economic impact in Walker County through new investment and jobs,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “It will also provide a major boost to a key industry sector in the area, setting the stage for growth that can be sustained for years to come. This is great news for Jasper and for Alabama.”
State Senator Greg Reed stated, “This joint venture between Jasper Forest Products and Canadian-based Tolko Industries is exciting news for our community. Wood products serve an important role in the Walker County economy, and this partnership will create a major expansion of the Jasper lumber facility. I would like to thank the Walker County Development Authority, the Jasper Industrial Development Board, the City of Jasper, and the Governor’s office for their efforts to support this exciting project.
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.
“This joint venture project is an important part of our company growth, and we’re excited to be investing in this mill with Jasper Lumber Company,” said Tolko CEO Brad Thorlakson. “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.”
“Jasper Lumber Company has had a presence in the state of Alabama and has been a proud part of the local community for over 30 years,” said Roy Beall, chief operating officer at Jasper Lumber Company. “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. This partnership with Tolko will allow us to create jobs and expand our capacity from our current 70 million board feet to approximately 200 million. We are looking forward to working with Tolko, our valued customers, and the state and local economic development community.”
The partnership, which was announced several weeks ago, and newly announced expansion has been a team effort between city, county and state officials.
“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.”
Jasper Mayor, David O’Mary said, “The forest products industry has provided jobs for our people for more years than I can recall. It is exciting to learn of the expansion of the Jasper entity and to know the profound economic impact it will have on our community. On behalf of all in City Government I congratulate the Jasper Forest Products team and offer a big welcome to Tolko.
Construction work at the Jasper sawmill will begin in early 2021. 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.
“The expansion of Jasper Lumber Company and the creation of new jobs is great news for Walker County. Further, it is great news for the entire timber industry from landowners, timber owners, trucking industry and all aspects of the industry. The job recruitment efforts of the Walker County Development Authority, the Jasper Industrial Development Board and the City have been outstanding. Thank you for your work,” commented State Representative Tim Wadsworth.
“This expansion project is great news for Walker County,” said County Commission Chairman Steve Miller. “All too often when a deal is brokered, the work that goes on behind the scenes is not fully appreciated. With that in mind, I would like to commend the Walker County Development Authority, Jasper Industrial Development Board and the city of Jasper for their work on this project. I would also like to welcome Tolko Industries and thank Jasper Forest Products for the continued investment in our community. The beneficiaries of this hard work and cooperation are the people of Walker County.”
This Jasper Lumber expansion will generate many spin-off jobs and create additional economic activity in the county and surrounding areas as a result of this major investment.
Terry Gurganus, chairman of the Jasper Industrial Development Board said, “it is great to know that Jasper Forest Products, LLC is announcing their newly planned joint Venture with Tolko Industries out of British Columbia, Canada. It has been a pleasure to assist in helping this come together over the last year as this Jasper business continues its contribution in the wood products industry. We are thankful to the local Jasper Forest Products team for making this happen.”
“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.”