Mercer Mass Timber LLC., a subsidiary of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Mercer International Inc., a global producer of market pulp and solid wood products with mills in Canada, Germany, and Australia, announced on Wednesday (5-18-22) that it plans to invest $50 million (USD) over the next two years in capital projects at its Spokane Valley mass timber manufacturing facility.
Potential capital projects include expanding the facility, adding new equipment lines, and the addition of a new product line, including glue-laminated structural components, or “glulam.”
Mercer acquired the 253,000-square-foot facility—one of the largest CLT production facilities in North America—last summer for $50 million from Katerra Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in June and laid off 63 employees in Spokane Valley.
According to Jason Herman, plant manager for Mercer Mass Timber, the company has hired 80% of former Katerra employees at the site since its opening last fall. Starting in July, the plant, which currently has 50 employees, will hire approximately 30 people and start a second shift.
Todd Beyreuther, director of product for Mercer Mass Timber, said of the investment, “We’re really excited that this landed in the right place. It would have been sad to see it go down.”
Beyreuther and Herman both were involved in the original planning and launch of the facility under Katerra, which began production in 2018. In total, the facility cost $180 million to build, says Herman.
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