Boise Cascade to expand its Oakdale plant

Boise Cascade Wood Products announced Wednesday it plans to invest $75 million to expand and modernize key machine centers at its Oakdale facility in Allen Parish.

These projects will increase veneer production capacity by 30 percent and allow the facility to produce up to 400 million square feet of dry veneer annually.

The company expects to create 30 direct new jobs, while retaining 370 current positions. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 77 indirect new jobs, for a total of 107 potential new jobs in the Southwest Region.

“Louisiana’s thriving agribusiness industry has been a stronghold in the economy throughout our state’s storied history, creating jobs and opportunities in every region,” Gov. Jeff Landry said in a news release. “I applaud Boise Cascade for reinvesting in Louisiana and our skilled manufacturing workforce.”

The projects include upgrade and redesign of Oakdale’s log utilization center, installation of a new six-deck veneer dryer and press and modification of an existing veneer dryer. The upgraded technology is designed to increase productivity and will allow Oakdale to supply additional veneer to Boise Cascade’s engineered wood products (EWP) facility in central Louisiana. The company also operates a plywood and veneer facility in Florien.

“Boise Cascade has a long history of doing business in Louisiana, and in fact, mill capacity at our EWP mill near Alexandria is the largest in North America,” Boise Cascade Wood Products Executive Vice President Mike Brown said in a press release. “This major investment in Oakdale reflects our ongoing commitment to invest in job sustainability and the state’s economy.”

Boise Cascade anticipates construction to start in the second half of 2024, with an estimated completion date in mid-2025. Construction is expected to generate 238 jobs at peak construction.

“We want to congratulate and thank Boise Cascade for its commitment to Allen Parish,” Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance Vice President of Economic Development Jonathan Dean said. “This $75 million investment in the Oakdale facility is a testament to the quality workforce we have in our communities.”

To secure the project in Oakdale, the state of Louisiana offered Boise Cascade a competitive incentives package that includes the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart. It also includes a $750,000 performance-based forgivable loan from the Economic Development Award Program for infrastructure and equipment repairs, contingent upon board approval and meeting investment and payroll targets. The company is also expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

“The Allen Parish Police Jury is excited that Boise Cascade has decided to expand on its current investments in Allen Parish,” the Allen Parish Police Jury said in a statement. “We are thankful Boise Cascade continues to value the unique assets of our parish. The wood products industry has been vital to Allen Parish families and the local economy throughout its history, and Boise Cascade’s upcoming project helps ensure that the industry remains alive and continues to grow in our area.”updates with Boise Cascade.

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