RAYMOND, Wa. - An abandoned hardwood lumber mill in Washington will reopen after receiving a large investment.
Washington's Department of Natural Resource (DNR) and state legislature will invest $1.5 million to get the mill, owned by the Port of Willapa Harbor, back up and running. The money will go toward a new log system that makes use of small diameter alder, startup costs, and debt-securing the sawmill.
The investment will create 49 jobs, and generate $9.5 million in log purchases each year. $98,000 in revenue will also be created.
In addition, DNR will work with the Port of Willapa Harbor and Evergreen State College Center for Sustainable Infrastructure to determine the economic feasibility of an energy innovation district (EID). An EID allows businesses to share energy and reuse waste streams, which will attract new and existing business to locate near the mill. DNR will administer a $100,000 grant for this work.
“This is what rural community partnership is about – putting lumber mill workers back to work making products out of sustainably harvested trees,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.
“This project will have a positive impact on our community and our state,” said State Senator Dean Takko (D-Longview). “By reopening a hardwood mill, we are creating jobs and a new supply of locally-sourced wood products.”
“The Port of Willapa Harbor seeks to be a conduit for economic opportunities – whether that means timber or renewable fuel sources,” said ReBecca Chaffee, Manager, Port of Willapa Harbor. “More mill jobs right away is a big deal. And, the potential of an energy innovation district – when we have ready access to wood, agricultural waste and other renewable natural resources and byproducts – is a game-changer.”