A B.C. forestry company is spending nearly $29 million on upgrades to its mills and facilities on Vancouver Island.

On Wednesday, Western Forest Products Inc. (WFP) announced it was upgrading its worksites in Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Chemainus.

Some $12.3 million will go towards adding a new kiln at the Saltair sawmill in Ladysmith. There are currently three kilns at the site, and the new continuous kiln will allow the mill to dry more lumber at a time while also reducing energy consumption, according to WFP.

Meanwhile, roughly $7.9 million will go towards the company's facility in Duke Point, Nanaimo.

The funding will be used to purchase new equipment for the facility, including a machine stress rated lumber grading machine, which can assess lumber grade quality for use in fabricated products like roof trusses, mass timber and glulam.

The remaining $8.3 million will be used on "other capital investments," according to WFP, including a new "value-added division" for its Chemainus worksite.

WFP says all three investments are underway, with equipment expected to come online by 2023.

"Congratulations to Western Forest Products on these substantive value-added investments on Vancouver Island," said B.C. Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon in a statement Wednesday.

"These projects will strengthen our province’s position as a world leader in mass timber and developing value-added wood products," he said.