WBR land acquired for lumber export facility

Ralph Stewart Logging LLC plans to open a pine log export facility on 12 acres at the old Louisiana Scrap Metal yard in West Baton Rouge Parish.

The company paid $1.75 million for the property at the intersection of La. 1 and Airline Highway.

The facility will stage and fumigate logs that will be shipped overseas, said Gaines Garrett of Beau Box Real Estate, who represented the seller. The wood has to be fumigated to make sure it’s not harboring any pests when it’s exported.

The old scrap yard includes a warehouse with 25,000 square feet of space.

State Sen. Mack “Bodi” White Jr., R-Central, represented Ralph Stewart.

The facility will export enough pine logs to fill 20 to 24 ships with a capacity of 33,000 to 44,000 tons, White said. Filling up one of those ships would require about 1,000 18-wheel truckloads of logs.

White said the company tried to lease space at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge but needed more property than the port had available; staging a shipload of logs requires several acres.