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'Increased production': Lumber company Interfor investing $30M to expand Perry sawmill

Interfor has seven sawmills in the state, but Perry is the central location

PERRY, Ga. — Interfor, a lumber company, will invest $30 million in expanding their sawmill in the city of Perry.

According to a press release from the office of Governor Brian Kemp, Interfor is the largest lumber producer in Georgia. "The company ships lumber products around the world, including fibers for house frames, furniture, and industrial packaging," the release said.

Interfor says the expansion will not bring any new jobs to the Perry sawmill. Perry's mill manager Shield Bozeman says this expansion will bring new construction, new equipment and more.

"The benefits of this expansion is increased production, increased capacity at the site, and setting us up for long term, for years to come, to be successful on this site. And a low-cost producer," said Bozeman.

Angie Gheesling with the Houston County Development Authority says they've worked with the company for nearly 10 years.

Interfor has seven sawmills in the state, but Perry is the central location. Nearly 140 people work at the Perry sawmill.

"They chose the Perry facility over, you know where they looked across the board corporate-wide, because they do know the Perry plant does perform so well, and the workforce is just really stellar," said Gheesling.

Gheesling says this speaks to the growth of Houston County.

"They are going to be able to take full advantage of the success that they're having that even can, you know, increase the output that they have and what that means for them so we just really, as a community, celebrate with them in this expansion," she said.

Bozeman says the demand for lumber has increased during the pandemic, so this expansion comes right on time.

"Yeah, the pandemic has really strained the lumber supply, you know -- a lot of the producers are really struggling to keep up with the increase sales since the pandemic started. An expansion like this, of course, increases capacity which helps us try to fill that gap," he said.

Bozeman says construction will start in fall and should be complete by next spring.

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