CHESTER, S.C. (From news reports) - Roseburg Forest Products held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday (Oct. 28, 2019) to celebrate the grand opening of its newly constructed Chester, S.C., engineered wood plant, the company reported.
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster participated in the event, along with Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery and Roseburg owner and Chairman Allyn Ford.
The Chester Engineered Wood plant is the most technologically advanced manufacturing facility of its kind, the company said in a news release, and features the highest-capacity LVL press in the world.
The project was first announced in summer 2017 and the construction team broke ground later that year. When fully operational, the plant will employ at least 145 people from the area.
The Chester facility will produce laminated veneer lumber (LVL) headers and beams used in residential and commercial construction. Roseburg first established its engineered wood business in 2001 and currently manufactures RFPI Joists, RigidLam LVL and RigidRim rimboard at its engineered wood plant in Riddle, Oregon.
Roseburg's LVL products support heavier loads and allow greater spans, because they are stronger, stiffer and more consistent than conventional lumber, the company said.
RFP said it did extensive research prior to choosing a location for the new plant, with criteria including market demand, raw materials availability and cost, and business climate front and center. They said Roseburg clients in the eastern United States will now have access to a stable supply of high-quality LVL products.
"South Carolina is a great state to do business in," Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery said. "Our research showed that this region was an ideal place to locate this facility, with its steady demand, healthy market and bountiful wood supply. Chester County and the state of South Carolina stood out, offering outstanding support and assistance as we navigated through the process."
Attendees included state and local politicians, regional officials, and more than 100 recently hired plant employees. After the ribbon cutting, project leaders guided guests on a tour of the expansive manufacturing plant, which produced its first board on Sept. 19, 2019.
"What started out as an undeveloped plot of land is now home to a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility thanks to the efforts of a team of people with the vision and knowledge to make it happen," said Allyn Ford, Roseburg owner and chairman. "Because of those efforts, 145 people will have jobs that did not exist before, and 145 families will earn a stable income in a safe work environment that contributes to the overall health and prosperity of this community and this state."