Business

Fruitland company buys Emmett sawmill

Gem Forest Products, a subsidiary of Greenfuels Energy, a biofuels company in Birmingham, Ala., bought the Emmett sawmill in a foreclosure sale after Emerald Forest Products filed for bankruptcy.
Gem Forest Products, a subsidiary of Greenfuels Energy, a biofuels company in Birmingham, Ala., bought the Emmett sawmill in a foreclosure sale after Emerald Forest Products filed for bankruptcy. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Woodgrain Millwork Inc., which makes doors, mouldings and windows, announced Thursday that it bought the sawmill from Gem Forest Products.

Woodgrain Millwork gained control of the equipment and lumber on the site as part of the purchase. Other details about the transaction were not disclosed.

The mill closed last month, said Lt. Gov. Brad Little. In February, Woodgrain Millwork employees will begin two to three months of work processing the mill’s existing inventory, the company said in a news release. Crews will take several more months renovating the mill before it begins operating permanently later in the year.

“This is great news for Idaho and particularly for my little home town,” Little said.

The mill has had a tumultuous history since 2009, when Montana timber entrepreneur Dick Vinson bought the property and cobbled together its equipment under the name Emerald Forest Products. The mill cost $4 million in federal stimulus money and at least $7 million of Vinson’s own money.

But it never operated efficiently enough to be profitable, and the mill closed until 2014, when Gem Forest Products bought the foreclosed property.

A mill employee lost his arm at the shoulder last July while operating equipment.

The sawmill is on property where Boise Cascade Co. once operated a larger sawmill. Its closing caused hundreds of employees to leave Emmett to seek work elsewhere.

Woodgrain Millwork plans to use the Emmett mill to supply lumber to its Fruitland mill.

Founded in 1954 in Utah, Woodgrain relocated its corporate headquarters to Fruitland in 1969.

“Woodgrain Millwork looks forward to deepening its Idaho roots by being a part of the Emmett community and integrating Gem Forest Products into its organization,” the company said.

Woodgrain Millwork operates Woodgrain Doors at 1201 W. Karcher Road in Nampa, as well as mills or distribution centers in Los Angeles; Norcross, Ga.; Des Moines; Anniston, Ala.; Iowa; Prineville, Ore.; and Marion, Va.

  Comments