Huber Mill Location

Huber Engineered Woods has canceled plans to build a $400 million Oriented Strand Board (OSB) plant in Cohasset, Minnesota.

Photo by: Etienne Girardet

Huber Engineered Woods has canceled plans to build a $400 million Oriented Strand Board (OSB) plant in Cohasset, Minnesota after the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued an unfavorable ruling in a legal dispute over the need for an environmental impact statement. Among those arguing for further environmental review was the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe which has a reservation near the 400 acre plant site.

Huber said it will shift its attention for the site for its sixth plant to a different state.

“Due to delays that jeopardize our ability to meet product demand deadlines, we will pursue development of our sixth mill in another state. We will be seeking a new location where we can produce critical home building products that are desired by American home builders and homeowners in a timely manner and consistent with Huber’s environmental and social commitments," Huber Engineered Woods President Brian Carlson said in a statement.

In terms of applicable wood supply, the FDN Prime Database suggests there may be nearby opportunities in Lake States. An adjacent Minnesota region and a close-by Michigan Upper Peninsula region show consistently low Aspen pulpwood index prices.

It is an extremely frustrating and disappointing decision,” said state Senator Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids). “Huber has been a phenomenal community partner everywhere they have operated, with a sterling environmental record. Huber was bringing hope to a community that needed some good news after the planned Boswell shutdown. It is disappointing the Leech Lake Band – and now the court of appeals – would stand in the way of that.”

Cohasset is the site of Minnesota Power’s Boswell Energy Center. Minnesota Power has announced plans to stop using coal as a fuel source at the plant by 2035.

The company had announced plans for the factory, to be located in the northeastern Minnesota city of Cohasset, in mid-2021. Local officials had cheered the potential impact of the Huber project, which included 150 jobs at the plant itself plus a boost to business for logging and trucking firms.

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