SELMA, Ala, (November 18, 2019) – Sunbelt Forest Ventures (SFV), a high-tech sawmill, celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting to officially mark the start of operations on a 50-acre site in the South Dallas Industrial Park in Selma, Al.
The mill, which represents a $30 million capital investment in the area, is designed to manufacture components for wood pallets from southern yellow pine. At full capacity, Sunbelt Forest Ventures will produce as much as 100 million board feet annually. Already employing 25 workers, plans call for launching a second shift in year two of operations and employing as many as 52 men and women total, to accommodate increased production.
The sawmill project was completed with support from PGS Group, a leading producer of sawn timber for pallets in France and Spain, and PalletOne, America’s largest wood pallet manufacturer. Officials with PGS Group led the Sunbelt Forest Ventures team in sawmill design, installation, and operations.
PalletOne, a primary mill customer, worked with PGS to provide guidance on the local timber market, mill best practices, and employment standards. Southern Forest Ventures is located next to PalletOne’s Selma pallet plant. PalletOne operates a second pallet plant in Robertsdale, Ala., and two wood treatment plants in Alabama, through its partner company Sunbelt Forest Products, in Louisville and Athens.
The Selma and Dallas County Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Pioneer Electric Cooperative assisted Sunbelt Forest Ventures in site selection and opportunity assessment for new business in the county.
According to PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace, “The leaders in Dallas County and Pioneer Electric made sure the full resources for development were made available. We have found Alabama to be a great place to grow our business. We are excited about this opportunity.”
Luc Grauwet, CEO of PGS Group, said his company visited multiple sites across the U.S. with PalletOne before selecting the location in Selma. Vendors from Alabama were used to build the sawmill. “We started construction in November 2018 and advanced quickly, working for 11 months,” he said. “I’m very happy for the team we have in place.”
The Selma facility represents a non-traditional sawmill specifically targeting logs suitable to manufacture components for wood pallets. A primary customer for the mill’s production will be PalletOne, who has operated a pallet manufacturing plant in Selma since 2006.
An $11 billion annual industry in the United States, it typically takes about 5 billion board feet of lumber to supply the nation’s pallet production requirements. The Sunbelt Forest Ventures Selma mill will play an important role in supplying such lumber.
ABOUT THE PGS GROUP
Established in 1993, the PGS Group (Palettes Gestion Services) is the European market leader in new and recycled wooden pallets and sawn pallet wood. Its complete offer and international orientation make PGS a major logistics partner in the packaging sector. With a workforce of 915 employees, PGS generated a consolidated turnover of 300 million € in 2018. It boasts 4 sawmills, a nail factory, 14 pallet production sites and 21 facilities for reconditioning services where 250,000 m³ of sawn pallet wood, 12.000 tons of nails, 25 million of new pallets and 20 million of recycled pallets are produced or recovered annually. PGS has branches across France, Belgium, Spain, Morocco, Ukraine, Latvia, and the United States. For more information: groupepgs.com.
ABOUT PALLETONE, INC.
Organized in 2001, PalletOne now operates 18 locations in nine states and manufactures new pallets, provides pallet repair programs, recycles used pallets and produces a variety of other wood products. With national headquarters in Bartow, Florida, PalletOne’s operations include Industrial Recycling Services, SunOne Logistics, and Sunbelt Forest Products Corporation, one of the largest producers of pressure-treated lumber and residential fencing in the Southeast. Through its combined operations, PalletOne employs more than 1,500 people across 23 locations. Its annual revenues exceed $500 million annually. Learn more at: www.palletone.com.