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Newberry company expanding again with $18M project

Ross Norton //October 6, 2023//

Newberry company expanding again with $18M project

Ross Norton //October 6, 2023//

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One of the largest timber producers in North America is growing its Newberry County sawmill operation with the third expansion in 10 years. The latest investment — this one for $17.7 million — will create 30 jobs, according to an announcement from the governor’s office.

The company is already accepting applications for the 30 new positions to be created with the expansion. (Photo/Provided)Founded by three brothers in 1955, West Fraser is a diversified wood products company that manufactures lumber, engineered wood and other products including pulp, newsprint, wood chips and renewable energy, according to the news release. Its products are used in home construction, repair and remodeling, industrial applications, papers, tissue and box materials.

“West Fraser is excited to grow our presence in Newberry County,” Chuck Watkins, a West Fraser vice president, said in the release. “This expansion and upgrades will ensure our Newberry facility is well equipped to compete in the global lumber markets and provide quality products to our customers for many years to come. Many thanks to the county of Newberry and the greater Newberry community, who supported this project and built a competitive investment climate with a skilled labor force, making Newberry an ideal community to grow our business.” 

Much like the 2014 and 2016 projects, the expansion of the facility at 3287 College St. in Newbery will help West Fraser modernize and increase productivity, the company said in the release. West Fraser purchased an additional 60 acres of land to accommodate the growth.

“West Fraser is a very important part of Newberry County,” Newberry County Council Chairman Todd Johnson said in the release. “This expansion includes a significant financial investment and the addition of stable, good paying jobs to our community, which is a great win for everyone in Newberry County.  This addition also helps to ensure their continued presence in Newberry County for years to come.”  

Operations are expected to be online in early 2024. The company has more than 60 operations in the United States, Canada and Europe.

“West Fraser’s continuing investments in its Newberry sawmilling operations reflects its confidence in our state’s resilient forest resource and the many landowners who sustainably manage their forestland,” State Forester Scott Phillips said in the release. “The abundance of healthy, fast-growing and privately managed wood in South Carolina makes the Palmetto State ripe for forest product-based capital investment and helps power our industry’s $23 billion economic impact.” 

There are more than 60 West Fraser operations in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The company is already hiring for the new positions in Newberry.

“We are proud that Newberry County proves to be a viable location for West Fraser,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in the release. “By providing a strong and dedicated workforce and supporting West Fraser’s vision, South Carolina plays a pivotal role in helping the company continue to expand its South Carolina presence.”