Huber Announces Plans For New Mill In Minnesota

Huber Engineered Woods LLC (HEW), a subsidiary of J.M. Huber Corp., has announced that it will build a new oriented strandboard (OSB) facility in Cohasset, Minn., representing a $440 million investment. The plant will increase the company’s production of ZIP System and AdvanTech structural panels.

“We look forward to being an integral part of the community and a key partner in the future success of the county and the state. We are pleased and excited to bring this new investment and set of employment opportunities to Itasca County and the surrounding areas,” says HEW President Brian Carlson. “It is our desire for our new Minnesota operations to be a shining example of our company’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

Contingent upon site acquisition, approval of certain legislative initiatives and financial assistance from additional state entities, the Cohasset location will be HEW’s sixth mill in the U.S. and its first presence in Minnesota, as well as its largest capital investment to date. The new mill will expand HEW’s current production footprint of five mills located in Georgia, Maine, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Virginia and represent a production increase of 30%.

Carlson adds, “We’ve seen a strong start to 2021 and are optimistic for continued growth of our specialty products in the coming years. We are pleased to share our plans for increased production to help keep pace with the growing demands of our customers for ZIP System and AdvanTech products, as well as future innovative solutions that we strive to deliver.”

The new 750,000 sq. ft. HEW manufacturing facility will be located on more than 400 acres, and is located next to Minnesota Power’s Boswell Energy Center. Announced earlier this year, by 2035 the utility intends to close and convert Boswell’s remaining coal-fired units.

“This new chapter of growth for our company is the result of tremendous collaboration between our organization, Governor Walz and the state of Minnesota including Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), and MPCA, and the local community, the city of Cohasset, Itasca County and Minnesota Power,” says Carlson.

“I support and recognize the significance of this project, as does my leadership team,” remarks Governor Tim Walz. “Minnesota’s state government commissioners are making the success and expedition of this project a top priority. Huber is an innovative and unique leader in the building products industry, and we are excited they are joining the successful companies that operate and thrive in northeastern Minnesota.”

This project coming to the state of Minnesota, and the selected Boswell site, is contingent upon financial assistance from IRRRB (which has voted to approve a $15 million forgivable loan requiring the plant employ at least 100 for its first six years), the state of Minnesota, DEED (which has committed to a $20 million investment in the project), the city of Cohasset, Itasca County and Minnesota Power. The manufacturing facility is projected to provide over 150 direct new jobs, while contributing growth opportunities in adjacent local industries including timber and trucking.

 

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