A Canada-based equipment-maker for the forest industry will invest $1.8 million and create 60 new jobs as it expands in Dorchester County.

British Columbia-based BID Group of Companies will expand its Comact Equipment U.S. plant near St. George less than a year after setting up shop. The investment will more than double the facility's current number of employees.

The company plans to add 3,500 square feet to its existing 40,000-square-foot plant on Academy Road to accommodate another line that will produce log and timber-handling equipment primarily used for sawmills.

The plant opened in fall 2013.

"We are proud to announce this expansion to assist with the growing forest industry requirements in the South," said BID Group CEO Brian Fehr. "Our decision to relocate some of our manufacturing to South Carolina in 2013 is paying off for us and our customers, and we look forward to growing our business in Dorchester County, and specifically the great community of St. George."

Comact moved the region to reduce time-to-market and related costs. Otherwise, the company would have to ship goods to Southeast U.S. customers from one of its locations in Canada.

The BID Group was started 30 years ago as a builder of sawmills in northern British Columbia. It now operates businesses, mostly in the forestry, mining, engineering and equipment-rental industries.

The company bought Comact, which was founded in Quebec as Jos. Cote Inc. in 1924, in April 2013.