ATLANTA, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia-Pacific today announced that its mills in Port Hudson, La., and Crossett, Ark., have been selected as the locations for the company's previously announced more than $500 million investments in advanced, proprietary tissue-papermaking technology.
With the investments, each site will use the advanced technology to upgrade one of its existing paper machines and will install associated converting equipment. Engineering and related work is beginning immediately. Start up of the upgraded and new equipment is scheduled for 2012. Both projects will modernize the mills, improving their long-term competitiveness and helping to preserve existing jobs. These locations currently have approximately 2,300 employees. The projects also will create significant construction-related jobs during the work.
Together, these investments will enable Georgia-Pacific to produce an innovative, next generation of premium branded and top-tier customer branded bath tissue to meet the growing demands of consumers and customers.
"We are pleased to announce these major investments for our manufacturing locations in Arkansas and Louisiana," said Kathy Walters, executive vice president – Georgia-Pacific Global Consumer Products. "This reflects our company's strong commitment to our consumer products business, to the global competitiveness of skilled Georgia-Pacific employees, to the support of the communities where we operate and to the states that support the value we create."
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe added, "This tremendous investment in Crossett reflects Georgia-Pacific's faith in the Arkansas workforce and the business support in our state. Along with securing long-term viability for this facility and the quality jobs it provides, this project will create as many as 400 construction jobs during the expansion."
"This is a great win for East Baton Rouge Parish, our forest products industry and our entire state," said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. "For the last two years, we have secured more significant business development projects per capita than any other Southern state. This project is yet another great example of the value of making business retention and expansion our top economic development priority. Georgia-Pacific has long been one of the largest, most important employers in the Capital Region -- this $300 million modernization project will ensure that Georgia-Pacific continues to be a major contributor to our economy for years to come."
Jim Hannan, Georgia-Pacific chief executive officer and president, said, "These projects are a portion of the approximately $12 billion Georgia-Pacific and other Koch companies have invested in our businesses during the last five years – even during difficult economic conditions. Koch companies have historically invested 90 percent or more of their earnings back into their businesses so that they can continue to grow, meet customer needs and create value for society."
This proprietary technology meets consumers' demanding needs for premium qualities in tissue products – including softness and absorbency – while reducing combinations of fiber use, energy use or water use versus alternative papermaking processes.
These investments in Arkansas and Louisiana are the latest in a long history of investment in the states by Georgia-Pacific and other Koch companies. In Arkansas, Koch companies employ more than 3,100 people and, in Louisiana, Koch companies employ more than 1,300 people.
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 more than 40,000 people at approximately 300 locations in North America, South America and Europe. Georgia-Pacific creates long-term value by using resources efficiently to provide innovative products and solutions that meet the needs of customers and society, while operating in a manner that is environmentally and socially responsible and economically sound. The familiar consumer tissue brands of Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP include Quilted Northern®, Angel Soft®, Brawny®, enMotion®, Sparkle®, Mardi Gras® and Vanity Fair®. Dixie Consumer Products LLC, a Georgia-Pacific company, manufactures the Dixie® brand of tabletop products. Georgia-Pacific has long been among the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of building products to lumber and building materials dealers and large do-it-yourself warehouse retailers, with brands such as Plytanium® plywood, DryPly® water repellent plywood, Ply-Bead® panels and Wood I Beam™ joists offered by Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC and DensArmor Plus® interior panels, DensGlass® Sheathing and ToughRock® drywall offered by Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC. For more information, visit www.gp.com, www.facebook.com/georgiapacific or www.twitter.com/georgiapacific.