Province boosts local forestry

EGANVILLE – Local sawmill, Lavern Heideman & Sons Ltd. is the first recipient of the province’s Forestry Growth Fund.

Ontario is investing $4 million over five years in the mill as part of the company’s $16.9 million project to modernize its infrastructure and secure 90 existing jobs and create 18 new positions at the mill.

According to Heideman’s Vice President Kris Heideman, the provincial funding, “was certainly key in moving the project forward.”

The investment is part of a three-year growth strategy for the company, which started with the acquisition of International Lumber of Pembroke in 2014. Increased wood supply allowed the company to look to expand production by building a more efficient mill and increase capacity by 60 per cent.

Heideman said the company spent 11 months on the application for provincial funding.

The project will allow the company to consolidate production on its Eganville site, with a new big log saw line, attached to the existing small log line. Both will feed into a 130 bin automatic sorting and stacking line. Two kilns and a planer will be added.

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