Canfor Southern Pine, a manufacturer of dimension lumber announced Wednesday that it will expand its existing lumber production facility in Horry County. The $3.6 million investment is expected to generate 56 new jobs.
"We decided to expand our facility in Conway and invest in Horry County because of the quality of the workforce here. We have been pleased with the quality of the employees and low turnover rates in Horry County. In addition to that we were impressed with the incentive package we were offered by the MBREDC and Brad Lofton's team. These two things helped make the decision to expand here possible," said Canfor's Director of Human Resources Debbie Sand.
At a press conference Wednesday, company officials said by mid-July, a new continuous kiln system will be in place at the facility, allowing the company to increase its lumber drying capacity by about 50 percent.
"Before, we could produce about 110 million board feet on one shift. now, we'll be able to produce 180 million board feet of lumber on a two-shift basis," said company president Doug Warstler.
Canfor has four other mills in the Carolinas, but Warstler says the company has already invested about $10 million dollars in new equipment in Conway in recent years.
"That, combined with excellent employees, made it the choice for our company to expand."
Horry and Georgetown Counties will create a multi-county business park on the Canfor property, allowing the company to get a $1,000 per job tax credit over five years.
Along with that, the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation will give the company $135,000 worth of incentives and the state will add some $460,000 dollars in tax rebates.
Warstler says housing starts are finally rebounding from a slump of only 500,000 per year during the recession, compared to well over a million a year during the housing boom.
"This year, many forecasters forecast between 900,000 and a million," he said. "So we have a ways to go, but we feel like this is a time to get in front of hopefully a solid recovery in our industry."
For more information about the company, visit www.canfor.com.