ATLANTA,Oct. 16, 2014/PRNewswire/ — Georgia-Pacific today announced plans to invest$37 millionat its GurdonArkansas, lumber operations to expand the production capacity of the lumber mill by approximately 60 percent and position the facility for long-term success. Improvements at the lumber mill include the installation of a new continuous dry kiln and a state-of-the-art planer mill, along with related infrastructure improvements. Project completion is expected by the third quarter of 2015.
“As the housing market continues a slow, but steady improvement, our plans to invest atGurdonensure our ability to meet the growing needs of our customers and become their lumber supplier of choice,” saidFritz Mason, vice president and general manager for Georgia-Pacific’s lumber business. “This is an opportunity to broaden our product offerings, enhance quality and improve our cost competitiveness.”
The company is also evaluating additional investments totaling approximately$20 millionat the nearbyGurdonplywood mill that would increase the mill’s efficiency and capacity, as well as further reduce air emissions.
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“The Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance is pleased to provide local support through theClark Countyeconomic development sales tax to helpGeorgia-Pacific complete this expansion,” saidEric Hughes, chairman of the Alliance. “Georgia-Pacific has been a great corporate citizen inGurdonfor many years, providing hundreds of jobs inClark County.”
“This is exciting news for our community and state,” saidStephen Bell, president and CEO of the Alliance. “We have been working alongside MayorClayton Franklinand other community leaders to upgrade the sewer treatment plant and increase the treatment plant’s capacity at theCity of Gurdon– a key element toGeorgia-Pacific’s expansion effort.”
“This as a win-win for the citizens ofGurdonandGeorgia-Pacific,” added Clark County JudgeRon Daniell. “These upgrades will not only supportGeorgia-Pacific’s expansion, but will help us in our effort to recruit more industry to our region.”
“Georgia-Pacific is among the top three largest manufacturing employers inArkansas,” saidGrant Tennille, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “This significant expansion investment inGurdonconfirmsGeorgia-Pacific’s commitment to doing business inArkansasand is a testament to the company’s confidence in the local workforce.”
Georgia-Pacific has eight facilities inArkansas, five of which are part of the building products division. The company employs approximately 2,700 people directly in the state ofArkansas, with more than 665 people located at theGurdonlumber and plywood operations. Total direct compensation and benefits forArkansasemployees is approximately$205 million, resulting in approximately$446 millionin indirect wages and benefits.
Since 2006,Georgia-Pacific building products has invested nearly$2.5 billionin capital for property and equipment upgrades and acquisitions, including the 2007 purchase of several International Paper building products assets, the 2010 Grant Forest Products acquisition, and most recently, the$710 millionacquisition of the former Temple-Inland Building Products assets.
Based inAtlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging, office papers, cellulose, specialty fibers, nonwoven fabrics, building products and related chemicals. Georgia-Pacific has long been a leading supplier of building products to lumber and building materials dealers and large do-it-yourself warehouse retailers. Our familiar brands include Plytanium® plywood, Blue Ribbon® OSB, Wood I Beam™ joists and GP Lam® LVL. Our familiar consumer brands include Quilted Northern®, Angel Soft®, Brawny®, enMotion®, Sparkle®, Mardi Gras® and Vanity Fair®, as well as Dixie®. Its GP Harmon subsidiary is among the world largest recyclers of paper, metal and plastics. The company employs approximately 35,000 people directly, and creates nearly 130,000 jobs indirectly. For more information, visit:gp.com.