Georgia-Pacific plans $100 million Alabama lumber production facility

Georgia-Pacific plans $100 million Alabama lumber production facility
Georgia-Pacific has more than 2,300 employees at seven facilities in Alabama, and it's preparing to add an eighth, a lumber factory in Talladega. (Georgia-Pacific)

Georgia-Pacific announced plans to construct a $100 million lumber production facility in Talladega that will employ more than 100 full-time employees and generate an annual payroll estimated at $5 million.

Construction on the technologically advanced, 300,000-square-foot plant is scheduled to begin immediately, with an anticipated startup in late 2018.

“The availability of talent and natural resources make Talladega an ideal site for this new lumber production facility,” said Fritz Mason, vice president and general manager, Georgia-Pacific Lumber.

“The City of Talladega, Talladega County and the state of Alabama have been incredibly supportive of this new venture, and we look forward to a long and beneficial relationship,” he added.

Georgia Pacific will invest $100 million to open a lumber production facility in Talladega, creating more than 100 jobs. (Georgia-Pacific)

Expanding presence

Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific is no stranger to Alabama. The company has more than 2,300 employees at seven facilities in Alabama that represent an additional 8,600 indirect jobs.

In the last five years Georgia-Pacific has invested approximately $1.1 billion in additional capital and acquisitions in Alabama. Earlier this year, the company announced $50 million in upgrades to its mill in Brewton.

“Georgia-Pacific’s new investment in Talladega will bring good jobs and enhanced opportunities to the area’s citizens while also benefiting timber owners in the region,” Gov. Kay Ivey said.

“I am committed to working closely with businesses like Georgia-Pacific, which has a significant presence in the state, as we demonstrate to the world that Alabama is open for business and eager to form strong partnerships.”

The location for the new state-of-the-art facility will be GP’s former plywood mill that closed in 2008 after more than 30 years of operation.

Georgia-Pacific announced a $50 million upgrade to its Brewton facility earlier this year. (Georgia-Pacific)

Growth phase

Georgia-Pacific’s latest investment is another boost for Alabama’s forest products industry, which recorded a strong year of growth in 2016. Last year, companies within the sector announced projects involving more than $1.1 billion in new investment and around 1,000 jobs.

“Alabama’s forest products industry is in the midst of a prolonged upswing that has brought a significant amount of new capital investment and jobs to the state, solidifying the industry’s status as a key economic driver,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Georgia-Pacific has been a major player in that growth as it expands its operating footprint in the state’s timber belt.”

Talladega officials said they look forward to building on an established relationship with the company.

“Georgia-Pacific has seven other wood and paper-related operating plants in the state. This expansion illustrates their commitment to Talladega, Talladega County and the state of Alabama for many years to come,” said Calvin Miller, executive director of the Talladega County Economic Development Authority.

The project will provide jobs for approximately 120 workers a day at the peak of the 12-month construction period. And according to the University of Alabama’s economic modeling, the project will have an estimated economic impact of more than $26 million on the city and county during construction.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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