By JACK WEATHERLY
Vicksburg Forest Products announced Wednesday that it will expand its lumber mill operation. The project is a $40 million corporate investment and will create 60 jobs.
Vicksburg Forest Products, which is headquartered in Jackson, purchased the Vicksburg sawmill from the Anderson-Tully Co. in May 2018 and converted it to a pine lumber operation.
Anderson-Tully had produced hardwood lumber for 129 years.
Anderson-Tully’s 300,000 acres of hardwood along the Mississippi between Memphis and Natchez were not part of the 2018 sale.
After the purchase, the facility underwent a large-scale transformation and is currently producing 75 million board feet of pine lumber on an annual basis.
After the latest expansion, it will be capable of producing 180 million board feet of lumber per year, consisting of a diverse product mix.
The upgraded mill will be purchasing approximately 800,000 tons of timber annually from landowners in the surrounding areas. The company has signed a turnkey contract with a leading equipment provider, and construction is scheduled to begin in October and will be complete next summer.
“We look forward to working with the local economic community and the state of Mississippi to support further investment in our facility and the surrounding area,” said Manager Billy Van Devender. “We are excited about the long-term prospects of our Vicksburg operations.”
The Mississippi Development Authority is providing a $750,000 grant for building renovations, construction of a log yard and road construction and a $345,000 grant for drainage and erosion control and a railroad expansion.
For the initial conversion, the MDA provided a $400,000 grant for site improvements. The city of Vicksburg provided $100,000 in matching funds for public infrastructure.
The city of Vicksburg also is providing assistance with infrastructure projects.