Georgia-Pacific Thursday announced plans to invest $37 million dollars at its Gurdon lumber operations to expand the production capacity of the lumber mill by approximately 60 percent. 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 at Gurdon ensure our ability to meet the growing needs of our customers and become their lumber supplier of choice,” said Fritz 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 million dollars, at the nearby Gurdon plywood mill that would increase the mill’s efficiency and capacity, as well as further reduce air emissions.
The Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance will provide local support through the Clark County economic development sales tax. Eric Hughes, chairman of the Alliance said, “Georgia-Pacific has been a great corporate citizen in Gurdon for many years, providing hundreds of jobs in Clark County.”
“This is exciting news for our community and state,” said Stephen Bell, president and CEO of the Alliance. “We have been working alongside Mayor Clayton Franklin and other community leaders to upgrade the sewer treatment plant, along with increasing the treatment plant’s capacity, at the City of Gurdon-a key element to Georgia-Pacific’s expansion effort.”
“This is a win-win for the citizens of Gurdon and Georgia-Pacific,” added Clark County Judge Ron Daniell. “These upgrades will not only support Georgia-Pacific’s expansion, but will help us in our effort to recruit more industry to Gurdon.”
“Georgia-Pacific is among the top three largest manufacturing employers in Arkansas,” said Grant Tennille, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “This significant expansion investment in Gurdon confirms Geporgia-Pacific’s commitment to doing business in Arkansas and is a testimony to the company’s confidence in the local workforce.”
Georgia-Pacific has eight facilities in Arkansas, including the Hope Particleboard Plant in the Oakhaven Industrial Park. The company employs approximately 2,700 people directly in the state of Arkansas, with approximately 630 located at the Gurdon operations. Total direct compensation and benefits for Arkansas employees is about $205 million dollars, resulting in approximately $446 million dollars in indirect wages and benefits.
Special to SuperCountry105.com from Saratoga, Arkansas Digest.