Pleasant River Lumber plans several-million-dollar project to upgrade eastern white pine mill in Sanford, Maine, following US$1M spend since acquiring mill in Dec. 2012; projects include addition of molder for wood paneling, adding up to eight jobs

LOS ANGELES , April 17, 2014 () – Pleasant River Lumber Co., headquartered in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, plans to expand its eastern white pine mill in Sanford, Maine, that it purchased in Dec. 2012, according to a report by the Sanford News.

The company has made significant investments in the former Lavalley sawmill, which currently has a workforce of 45. Chris and Jason Brochu, co-presidents of Pleasant River Lumber, estimate investments to date at US$1 million, and say they are in the planning stages of a several-million-dollar project to further modernize the mill over the next five years and help secure long-term jobs in Sanford.

The pair have been working with the Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council to plan the expansion.

Among the investments is the purchase of a new molder for the production of wood paneling, which is due to be be operational by fall and will require the addition of seven to eight employees.

Sanford Pine Mill general manager Terry Walters said the previous owner of the mill, an investment company, had done nothing to improve the business over the last 10 years.Walters said that company had entered bankruptcy when Pleasant River bought it, and had stopped buying logs from local loggers.

Walters said the Brochu family had spent a lot of money over the last year on projects to improve safety and energy efficiency. Projects include the installation of a chip-handling system, improvements to the planing mill and the purchase of an optimization system.

Pleasant River Lumber employs a total of 180 people at its four locations in Maine. Its eastern white pine mills at Hancock and Sanford mills have a combined annual production capability of 35 million board feet, reported the Sanford News. The company's two spruce mills are located at Dover-Foxcroft and Enfield.

The primary source of this article is the Sanford News, Sanford, Maine, on April 17, 2014. The original article can be viewed here.

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