WELDON – Roseburg Forest Products plans to invest $200 million and create 137 new jobs that average $50,796 in Halifax County to develop what it calls a sustainable high-tech sawmill operation in the Town of Weldon.

The story of lumber and the story of sawmills has been a fascinating one throughout the pandemic, as lumber prices increased dramatically, in a classic example of too little supply to meet increasing demand, as many places in North Carolina, and across the nation, struggle with housing shortages.

“Low interest rates, a surge in home remodeling, and growing demand for single-family housing are pushing the industry to increase domestic lumber production capacity as quickly as possible,” said Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery in a statement. “This new mill is an exciting strategic growth opportunity that integrates well with our other North American operations and client base.”

Roseburg Forest Products is based in Oregon, was founded in 1936, and manages 600,000 acres of timberland in Oregon and the Southeastern United States.

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The North Carolina Department of Commerce said in a statement that the investment could create a potential annual payroll impact of more than $6.9 million per year.

The company’s operation will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) that was today approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee.

According to the terms of the 12-year term of the grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $511 million, the Department of Commerce said.

“The Town of Weldon is thrilled to welcome Roseburg Forest Products to our community,” said Julia Meacham, Mayor of Weldon. “This project will be transformational for the town. We look forward to working with the company and our local partners in supporting Roseburg’s long-term growth and success here.”