Nashville Plantation, Maine, USA 02 October 2014 -- Today Irving Forest Products marked the official opening of the new state-of-the-art Ashland Sawmill in Nashville Plantation, Maine. During the construction phase, over 84 Maine businesses provided in excess of $17 million in goods and services to the project, employing over 50 people on site during peak construction.
The $30 million sawmill started operating in June and today employs 60 people, producing over 100 million board feet of quality, environmentally certified softwood lumber per year. Ashland Sawmill is one of the most modern sawmills in North America and operates the fastest trim line on the continent.
The softwood lumber produced at this new facility will provide customers their choice of products that are environmentally certified under the Forest Stewardship (FSC) Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) programs. The majority of the lumber produced will be sold to major retail lumber yards located throughout the US Eastern Seaboard.
The round wood log supply for the new sawmill will be procured sustainably from the company's Maine freehold woodlands as well as other woodlot and timberland owners in the state.
"We have proudly been part of Aroostook County for over 65 years," said Jim Irving, Co-CEO of J.D. Irving, Limited. "Today is a great day for our operations in Maine as we welcome 60 new employees to the team. They are working in one of the most modern mills in North America, using the best technology. We appreciate the support of the 84 Maine contractors who worked with us on the project. We are continuing to hire in the state for our forestry operations, requiring over 125 people between now and 2016 and value the partnerships we have with the University of Maine system and local community colleges that are providing the skilled workforce of the future."
"Congratulations to Irving on the opening of the new sawmill," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "I thank them for making this investment and for once again, choosing Maine as a place to do business. My administration is committed to making Maine as competitive as possible for this type of new private investment leading to good paying careers for Maine people."
Speaking at the event this morning, Senator Angus King spoke about how the company embraces the 4 "P"s. "The first is a Plan and a vision of a great forest products company and good forestry. Partnership - partnering with the state, the local community and local contractors. The third is Perseverance - it always takes a lot of effort and push through a lot of obstacles. The fourth makes them all come together, and that's Passion - you have to have a passion for what you do - to see things that other people don't see. The Irving family has that passion and it's one of the great success stories of North America."
"The opening of the Ashland Sawmill is great news for its talented employees and the County's economy," Senator Collins said. "The construction of this mill has already created many good paying jobs, and its operation will further stimulate economic growth and support the state's forest products industry."
"I'm incredibly proud of the cutting-edge technology that will be employed in the new sawmill - it's a great example of how Maine can be a leader in innovation in an industry where we already have such a long and proud history," said U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud. "The mill - and the strengthening of rail in the region - will create good jobs that will help our communities grow. I look forward to working with Irving and community officials in a partnership that I know will strengthen the region."