Eatonton Sawmill Goes International

7:08 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
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At the saw mill in Eatonton, it's all about "100 percent Southern yellow pine."

The mill used to be owned by Rayonier, a Southeast-based company, which employs 80 people at the Eatonton branch. But earlier this year, it was bought along with two other mills for $80 million by a Canadian-based company, Interfor.

"For the vast majority of the products we produce, it's dimensional lumber, structural materails, so the Southern yellow pine lumber from Georgia will fit in," says Karen Brandt, Interfor's director of public affairs.

Under the new company, all 80 employees in Putnam County have been able to keep their current jobs and benefits.

Operations Superintendent Bobby Ivey says unlike other jobs in the area which have gone away, he's hopeful that under the new company, there may actually be more expansion from his plant down the road.

"They're wanting to step production back up. We've been in kind of a suppressed market for the last five years and so we've got a chance to come out of it running now, and I think they'll give us the opportunity to do so," says Ivey.

Along with the other two mills in Baxley and Swainsboro, the mills produced an annual combined capacity of 360 million board feet of lumber.

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