Bamboo Mill Gains Steam

 

Resource Fiber, a leader in efforts to manufacture commercial bamboo products, plans to establish its first full-scale production plant in Sulligent, Ala. Resource Fiber plans to invest $3.6 million in the Lamar County facility, where it will produce engineered bamboo products such as bamboo nail laminated timbers used in the construction of multi-storied buildings.

Founded in 2011, Resource Fiber has engaged in extensive research and development activities focusing on bamboo products, with six U.S. patents and five U.S. patent applications pending. It has developed bamboo railroad ties and a laminated timber system to replace steel roof and floor decks in commercial buildings.

Resource Fiber CEO David Knight says the company operates the nation’s largest commercial-scale bamboo nursery in Greene County had been looking at nearby locations for its first manufacturing facility. Last year, the company analyzed seven buildings in four Alabama communities. Resource Fiber relocated an experimental pilot facility in Oneida, Tenn. to the Sulligent site in November 2020. The company expects to begin hiring and launch manufacturing at the Alabama facility in the second quarter of 2021.

To make the project possible, Resource Fiber received support from the State of Alabama, which is providing incentives under the Alabama Jobs Act, and the City of Sulligent, which purchased a building it is leasing to the company. The Houston-based Harry E. Bovay Jr. Foundation also provided a grant to facilitate the project. In addition, the company also received a USDA Rural Business Development Grant, administered by the City of Sulligent, to apply towards the purchase of manufacturing equipment.

 

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