Interfor Corp. plans to invest $30 million to expand its Summerville sawmill, just months after acquiring the business from WestRock Co.
The expansion, designed to boost production capacity, is scheduled for completion by the end of next year and will “help position the Summerville mill for the future and ensure it remains competitive throughout all market conditions for many years to come,” Bruce Luxmoore, Interfor’s senior vice president of Southern operations, said in a written statement.
Interfor bought the Dorchester County mill for $59 million in February, when it also announced a long-term chip and biomass supply agreement with WestRock’s paper mill along the Cooper River in North Charleston. The company did not say whether the expansion will create any new jobs at the Summerville site.
The sawmill produced about 125 million board feet of lumber in 2020, and a new permit will allow Interfor to increase that by about 60 percent to roughly 200 million board feet.
Interfor had record earnings during the second quarter at $611 million before taxes, depreciation and amortization costs. Richard Pozzebon, the company’s chief financial officer, told analysts during an Aug. 6 conference call that the Summerville site “contributed significantly to our second-quarter results.”
Barton Bender, Interfor’s president and CEO, said demand is being driven by new home construction as well as aging homes needing repair and remodel work.
Interfor has 21 sawmills across Canada and the United States. The company has an annual lumber production capacity of approximately 3.9 billion board feet, with more than half of that capacity located in the U.S. South.