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New $440M wood manufacturing plant to be built on Iron Range

A $15 million forgivable state loan for the project was approved Monday.

A new wood manufacturing plant is set to be built on Minnesota's Iron Range in a $440 million project that is expected to create more than 150 jobs.

The news was announced by Hubar Engineered Woods, which will build an 800,000-square-foot timber mill near Cohasset in southwest Itasca County, with a planned opening date of 2024.

Of the $440 million outlay, Gov. Tim Walz announced $15 million will be provided from a forgivable loan from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board

The plant will be built on land owned by Minnesota Power near to its Boswell Energy Center, where the company is closing down its two remaining coal plants by 2035 as it moves towards a carbon-free energy mix by 2050.

As part of the construction project there will be upgrades to water, sewer, natural gas, rail and road infrastructure, with the export of finished goods expected to require the movement of 20,000 trucks and 330 rail cars per year.

When the plant is operational, it's expected to create 150 new jobs with a median hourly wage of $31 plus benefits, while an additional 300-400 workers expected to be hired to build the facility.

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"Huber is an innovative and unique leader in the building products industry, and we’re excited about the positive economic impact this investment will make in the region," said Gov. Tim Walz.

The news has been welcomed by Rep. Spencer Igo (R-Grand Rapids), who said: "Today is a great day for Itasca County and our Northland as more than 150 well-paying jobs will be coming to the community in the near future.

"Huber is wisely making a significant investment in the best workforce in the nation –the hard-working men and women of the Iron Range. I want to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to the IRRRB for supporting this important project and look forward to welcoming Huber to the area."

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