Henry County got its new lumber mill on Tuesday, a $40 million investment called Abbeville Fiber LLC, which will employ 115 workers when it hits full production.
The project, announced late last year, drew Gov. Kay Ivey and many local officials for its grand opening and tour. Abbeville Fiber’s lone client will be Great Southern Wood Preserving Inc., which has almost singlehandedly brought renewed prosperity to the town.
“What I have seen here today represents the best of Alabama — good people who are proud of their work and doing it to the best of their ability,” Gov. Ivey said.
The facility, which received its first load of logs on July 8 and currently employs 65 Alabamians will use 40 to 45 truckloads of locally-sourced logs per day. Over the next 12 to 15 months, the sawmill will increase production and employ 115. At that time, the facility will repurpose 80 to 90 truckloads of logs per day.
“With the opening of the sawmill, we will be continuing to invest in our most valuable resource — the people in our hometown and throughout the entire Wiregrass,” said Great Southern’s owner, president and CEO Jimmy Rane.
Great Southern Wood and its subsidiaries operate 37 distribution locations with a coverage area that stretches from the Florida Keys to Texas to Canada, an area that includes all or parts of 28 states and the District of Columbia, as well as much of the Caribbean and Latin America, and part of the European Union, Mediterranean region and China.