Gov. John Bel Edwards and Interfor Corporation announced that the wood products company plans to invest up to $8 million to revive the idled Georgia Pacific sawmill near DeQuincy.
The project will create 170 direct new jobs, with average wages of $62,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 505 indirect jobs, for a total of 675 new jobs in Louisiana’s Southwest region.
“On behalf of the State of Louisiana, I encourage and welcome Interfor’s investment near DeQuincy,” said Gov. Edwards. “Louisiana’s lumber industry is one of our most profitable agricultural exports, and the market for lumber is red hot right now. Interfor brings industry leadership and know-how to this project, and I am excited to say this new investment will create hundreds of new direct and indirect jobs to Louisiana.”
Interfor is one of North America’s largest lumber producers. Interfor recently acquired the Georgia Pacific facility, which was idled in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mill near DeQuincy has an annual lumber production capacity of 200 million board feet, and Interfor plans to restart operations in the first half of 2022. The revived plant will also support significant logging and logistics activity in the region.
“We greatly appreciate all the support in getting this mill back up and running,” said Bruce Luxmoore, Interfor’s Senior Vice President of Southern Operations. “The warm reception, collaborative approach and valuable incentives package have reaffirmed our decision to invest in Louisiana.”
Many of the jobs at the plant are expected to be filled by employees of the sawmill’s legacy owner who will assist in preparations to restart the facility. The company will hire additional positions in the coming months. Individuals interested in joining the Interfor team should visit the company’s careers webpage at www.interfor.com/careers.
“We are very excited for the new economic activity heading to DeQuincy,” said DeQuincy Mayor Riley Smith. “I am looking forward to working with Interfor, and we will do everything we can to make their entry into the community as easy as possible. I feel like this project will provide a much-needed boost to our economy, providing great new opportunities not only for our residents but also the surrounding area.”
To secure Interfor’s project in DeQuincy, the State of Louisiana is providing a competitive incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart® – ranked the No. 1 workforce development program in the nation for the past 12 years. Additionally, the company is expected to use the state’s Quality Jobs program and Industrial Tax Exemption Program for the new jobs created.
“Beauregard Parish and southwest Louisiana have always welcomed economic development projects big and small,” said Mike Harper, Beauregard Parish Police Jury President. “This is a big one, and is very exciting for an area that can benefit from a project of this scale once again.”
“The restart of the lumber mill at DeQuincy by Interfor is a huge economic win for southwest Louisiana,” said George Swift, President and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “Interfor purchased the shuttered lumber mill from Georgia Pacific, and is investing millions of dollars in preparation of restarting the mill. This investment would create an estimated 45 construction jobs. When the mill is fully operational, Interfor plans to employ 170 permanent workers in quality jobs. We welcome Interfor to southwest Louisiana and thank them for reopening the lumber mill in DeQuincy.”