Investing in Infrastructure & Technology
By embracing the highest standards and advancing innovation in our manufacturing operations and woodlands, we increase efficiency, keep our workplaces safe, and deliver high-quality products.
Investing in Modern, Efficient Technology in our Mills
Over the last 10 years, we spent close to $900 million upgrading facilities and systems to employ the latest technologies (see Capital Investments table). In 2019, we completed Phase I of a capital investment strategy that we began in 2018. It consisted of a new planer and kiln upgrade at Meldrim Division and a major rebuild at Monticello Division. To date, the rebuild at Monticello is the biggest capital project Interfor has undertaken in the South, and it represents the second-largest investment we have made in a single operation.
This US$70-million investment will result in an additional 150 million board feet of production capacity as well as improved grade outturns and reduced conversion costs. Monticello is continuing to improve productivity and Meldrim’s kiln is now keeping pace with production.
With Phase 1 complete, we have moved on to Phase II at Georgetown, Eatonton and Thomaston divisions. The Phase II projects are designed to increase production capacity by approximately 275 million board feet per year as well as improve lumber recovery and enhance our product mix with a US$240 million investment.
Investing in Modern, Efficient Technology in our Woodlands
We invest in new technology to be used in the woodlands we manage, and we support technology investments made by the timber harvesting companies and landowners working with us.
Investing in Research
Research, in partnership with other organizations, also plays an important role in making Interfor more efficient.
In 2019, Interfor was an active member of FPInnovations, a Canadian non-profit focused on fueling the prosperity of the forest sector through scientific excellence, and we supported development of innovative solutions and best management practices.
In 2019, Interfor began a partnership with Clemson University on a research project. Using land attached to our Georgetown Division, the project is focused on how things like tree spacing, planting densities and varied herbicide prescriptions will impact seedling survival and tree growth.