Walker County-based Jasper Lumber Company has formed a partnership with the Canadian business Tolko Industries that will facilitate a $45 million expansion creating 60 new jobs.
News of the partnership was announced Tuesday by the Office of Governor Kay Ivey.
Jasper Lumber’s sawmill will see its capacity triple with the new investment, which will include new facilities, new machinery and more production shifts.
The financial vehicle for the arrangement is a subsidiary company named Jasper Forest Products LLC., a Jasper-Tolko Partnership of which Jasper Lumber and Tolko will now each own a 50% share.
“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,” said Jasper Lumber chief operating officer Roy Beall in a release.
Tolko, a privately held business based in the Canadian province of British Columbia, produces wood products such as lumber, oriented strand board (OSB), plywood and pellets.
Jasper Lumber has been operating for more than 30 years in the North Alabama area. It is also privately held.
Construction work on the expansion is slated to begin in early 2021. Local economic development authorities and the City of Jasper have worked for over a year to secure funding for the utility infrastructure the expanded plant will require.
The joint venture with Jasper Lumber is Tolko’s third in the United States. CEO Brad Thorlakson said it supports his company’s “product and geographic diversification.”
Elected officials praised the announcement with State Rep. Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley) calling it “great news for the entire timber industry,” and State Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper) noting that “wood products serve an important role in the Walker County economy.”
Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said he was excited about “the profound economic impact” the expansion “will have on our community.”
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey believes the partnership is “setting the stage for growth that can be sustained for years to come.”
“This is great news for Jasper and for Alabama,” she concluded.