ATLANTA -- Georgia-Pacific today announced that it will invest approximately an initial $9 million at its Dudley, N.C., lumber operations as part of a multi-phase increase in the mill's lumber production capacity and supporting infrastructure.
Most of the investment will be used to construct a new continuous dry kiln that will double the kiln capacity at the mill and create approximately 20 new jobs. Construction is expected to start immediately and is scheduled for completion by the second quarter of 2014. The company also is conducting engineering analysis, infrastructure evaluation and permitting studies for additional capital investments under consideration for the mill, which could total up to $90 million if made.
The Dudley investment is part of a larger investment plan Georgia-Pacific announced in March. The company also is evaluating investments in other building products facilities in several other Southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. The investment under consideration would increase Georgia-Pacific's overall production capacity by approximately 20 percent.
"With the housing market continuing a slow and steady improvement, these planned investments will allow Georgia‑Pacific to provide our current and future customers with the products they need as they begin to ramp up their operations," said Mark Luetters, executive vice president, Georgia-Pacific building products. "We take a long-term approach to our building products business, and planning these investments demonstrates our commitment to the building products industry and the communities where we operate."
Neal Benton, chairman of the Wayne County Development Alliance, added, "Georgia-Pacific's commitment to Wayne County is a testament to the relationship that exists between their leadership, the Development Alliance, and the County of Wayne. We greatly appreciate this significant investment and new job creation."
Georgia‑Pacific has eight facilities in North Carolina, seven of which are part of the building products business. The company employs approximately 800 people directly in North Carolina, including approximately 530 people at the Dudley operations (approximately 100 supporting lumber operations and approximately 430 supporting plywood operations). Total compensation and benefits for North Carolina employees is approximately $49 million directly, resulting in $152 million in combined wages and benefits.
Since 2006, the Georgia-Pacific building products business has invested more than $2.2 billion in 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 million acquisition of the former Temple-Inland Building Products assets.
Headquartered at Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of building products, tissue, packaging, paper, cellulose and related chemicals. The company employs approximately 35,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit www.gp.com.
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