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Canfor Southern Pine to expand Camden plant

Posted: October 12, 2010 4:36 p.m.
Updated: October 13, 2010 5:00 a.m.

New South Companies LLC will expand its lumber mill in Camden as part of a multi-year plan to upgrade the company’s equipment. As the company focuses on improving its productivity and efficiency, officials said, it will evaluate the possibility of reinstituting a second shift at the facility.

Announced Tuesday by New South, doing business as Canfor Southern Pine, the

installation of the lumber grade optimization project is the first step in a five-year technology upgrade plan. A major component of the current expansion is the addition of an automatic grading machine which will allow the facility to process lumber in a more efficient manner.

Kershaw County Council was scheduled to consider a fees-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement Tuesday night which would levy a 7 percent assessment ratio on an investment by New South of at least $2.5 million by Dec. 31 and would decrease to 6 percent if the investment reaches $10 million and/or generates 40 new full-time jobs.

In addition to Southern pine dimension lumber, Canfor Southern Pine manufactures a variety of specialty lumber products as well as treated lumber. The company employs over 500 people and produces more than 400 million MBF (thousand board feet) of finished goods each year

 “This project will lower manufacturing costs, increase value of our finish product, and improve customer satisfaction. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from the community and local officials. Canfor Southern Pine is proud to be a part of Kershaw County. Our continued investments will insure that we remain viable for many years to come,” said Steve Singleton, vice president and general manager of the Camden facility.

The expansion of an existing company as the economy begins to recover is gratifying, said Kershaw County Council Interim Chairman Max Ford.

“Canfor Southern Pine has been a great corporate citizen since arriving in Kershaw County in 1983, and this addition of new state of the art equipment will allow the company to continue to improve productivity at the facility,” said Ford.

Existing industry is the cornerstone of the state’s economy, agreed Central SC Alliance Chairman Jim Apple.

“The regional economy continues to build momentum and the announcement by Canfor Southern Pine in Kershaw County further demonstrates our pro-business environment. We make every effort to insure existing industry can grow and prosper here at home,” said Apple.

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