Weyerhaeuser to restart South Alabama mill
Weyerhaeuser will begin plans to restart production on its Trus Joist TJI joists and Microllam LVL lines in Evergreen, Ala., effective immediately.
The company will be investing capital in the engineered lumber products facility after a four-year closure due to weak wood products demand in North America. The company plans to hire 100 new employees at the facility by the end of 2014. Robert Doll will be plant manager and will be on site effective Aug. 30.
"Customer demand for engineered wood products has improved over the last year and our Evergreen facility is the ideal location to add production capacity of our Trus Joist TJI Joists and Microllam® LVL building products," said Jan Marrs, manufacturing manager for Weyerhaeuser Engineered Lumber Products. "With our markets improving and positive support from both the state and local community, we are looking forward to re-starting this facility."
The Evergreen Trus Joist facility was acquired by Weyerhaeuser in 2000 and has an estimated annual production of 2 million cubic feet of Microllam LVL and 120 million lineal feet of TJI Joists.
In Alabama, Weyerhaeuser also operates a lumber manufacturing facility in Millport, a Nursery Tree Improvement Center in Camden, and it sustainably manages more than 547,000 acres of timberland in 23 counties.
Weyerhaeuser names new senior VPs
Weyerhaeuser has announced several changes to its senior management team.
Cathy Slater has been named senior VP Oriented Strand Board, Engineered Lumber Products and Distribution, effective immediately. Slater brings more than 25 years of forest industry experience, including leadership positions in the company’s Cellulose Fibers and Wood Products businesses.
Adrian Blocker has been named senior VP Lumber, effective immediately. Blocker joined Weyerhaeuser in May 2013 as VP Lumber. He brings more than 30 years of experience, including forestland management, fiber procurement, consumer packaging, and wood products manufacturing of lumber, plywood and laminated veneer lumber.
Larry Burrows, senior VP Wood Products, will retire on Oct. 31, 2013.
Slater and Blocker will report to Doyle Simons, president and CEO.
“Both Adrian and Cathy bring manufacturing expertise and tremendous focus on results to their new roles,” Simons said. “I look forward to working directly with each of them as we continue to drive operational excellence in our Wood Products businesses.”
Weyerhaeuser also announced the retirement of Miles Drake, chief technology officer and senior VP Research and Development. Effective immediately, the company’s R&D organization will report directly to Shaker Chandrasekaran, senior VP Cellulose Fibers.
Trex settles mold lawsuit in California
At a cost capped at $8.25 million plus attorney’s fees, Trex Co. is settling a California lawsuit connected to mold in an early version of its decking product.
Trex, the largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking, said the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted preliminary approval of a settlement agreement that will resolve a nationwide class action lawsuit filed in California alleging certain misrepresentations and defects in Trex’s first-generation composite products relating to mold growth and color issues.
Winchester, Va.-based Trex will provide to qualified claimants a one-time cash payment or the opportunity to receive other relief, including a rebate certificate on its newer-generation shelled products — Trex Transcend and Trex Enhance.
This relief would be available for any eligible consumer whose first-generation composite product purchased after Aug. 1, 2004, has a certain level of mold growth, color fading or color variation.
“Our decision to settle the case is by no means an admission of any of the allegations made by the plaintiffs,” said Ronald Kaplan, chairman, president and CEO of Trex. “Trex has steadfastly denied any liability and we were fully prepared to defend our position. We strongly believe we would have prevailed; however, we settled on terms that we feel benefit both our consumers and Trex. This settlement allows our company to avoid additional expensive, time-consuming litigation and to focus on delivering quality products and service to consumers, while providing certain relief to those customers affected by these issues.”
The mold is a result of environmental conditions that affect all outdoor surfaces, not just the Trex products involved in the suit, Kaplan added.
Trex products are stocked in more than 6,000 retail locations, the company said.