BREWTON, Ala. – Georgia-Pacific has announced an investment of more than $375 million in an energy improvement project at its Brewton, Alabama, mill. All permits are in place for construction to begin in the next few months, and the project is expected to take approximately 24 months to complete.
"Georgia-Pacific has a track record of investing back into our business to help continuously improve our operations and meet the long-term needs of our customers, our company, our communities and our employees," said Jim Hannan, CEO and president, Georgia-Pacific. "This investment in our Brewton facility reflects our confidence in the Brewton team to continue to improve the competitiveness of this facility."
"I'm proud of Georgia-Pacific's investment to improve the mill in Brewton. This shows the company's commitment to their employees and the state of Alabama," said Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. "This major investment will provide long-term and immediate benefits for Escambia County. During the construction phase hundreds of workers are projected to be on site daily which will have a positive impact on the local economy."
The energy improvement project modernizes and streamlines the current mix of equipment in the mill's recovery boiler system, which will contribute to more efficient processes and operations.
"We will become self-sufficient in terms of the energy needed for our processes," said Jeff Joyce, vice president and general manager, Brewton mill. "This will improve our competitive advantage and enhance the long-term viability of the mill."
Among other benefits of the energy improvement project:
• Improved reliability and energy efficiency
• Workforce influx of approximately 600 (at peak) for construction
• Positive short-term economic benefits to the surrounding community, particularly in the form of retail sales and lodging revenues from contractors
"While we are now gearing up for construction, our teams have been planning and preparing for this project since 2013, including ordering equipment and pre-constructing some components," said Joyce. "We are very appreciative of the work of those teams and the support we have received from our community and local leaders in securing this project for our mill. We are proud to be here."
Mayor Yank Lovelace, Sr., said, "We are thrilled to have Georgia-Pacific in our city, and this investment in Brewton affirms the company's commitment to our community. We have worked hard to support local industry and welcome economic growth that is the result."
Escambia County Commission Chairman David Stokes, added, "This will make the Brewton mill competitive for generations to come, giving our people the opportunity to make a good living and raise their families here in Brewton."
Teams at the Brewton mill produce white-top linerboard and solid bleached cartonboard. The mill is the largest employer in Brewton, with approximately 450 employees. In Alabama, Georgia-Pacific employs approximately 2,500 people directly, and those jobs create an additional 12,300 jobs indirectly. Total compensation and benefits for Georgia-Pacific Alabama employees is approximately $242 million directly, resulting in a broader economic impact of $695 million in combined wages and benefits.
In recent years, Georgia-Pacific has invested $11 billion into operations across the country, including Alabama, where approximately $1.4 billion in capital has been invested to grow existing operations, acquire new operations, improve safety and environmental performance or delivery.