FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Georgia-Pacific has announced plans to invest approximately $40 million in new technology and equipment to expand its plate manufacturing capability at the Dixie® facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Construction is in progress, and the new line is expected to start up in 2015.
"Georgia-Pacific already has invested more than $30 million since 2012. This latest investment will further modernize the plant and improve its long-term competitiveness in plate manufacturing while meeting the growing demands of our consumers and customers," said Larry Balch, Dixie plant director. "We appreciate all the support we have received from our local and state economic development partners in making this investment a reality."
"We appreciate Georgia-Pacific's latest Arkansas expansion and its continued confidence in the Fort Smith workforce," Governor Mike Beebe said. "The company's investments in Sebastian County and across Arkansas repeatedly showcase our role in American manufacturing."
Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders said. "We appreciate Georgia-Pacific's ongoing commitment to our community and the stability that comes with their manufacturing operation here."
The investment at the Fort Smith plant is part of more than $100 million of planned investments at other Georgia-Pacific facilities in Arkansas during 2014. It also is the latest in a long history of investments in the state by Georgia-Pacific and other Koch companies. With this expansion completed, the Fort Smith plant is expected to employ more than 350 people. In Arkansas, Georgia-Pacific facilities employ more than 2,400 people with total annual compensation and benefits of approximately $179 million.
"Georgia-Pacific has been an outstanding corporate citizen in Fort Smith since the facility was built in 1948. This expansion illustrates their commitment to Fort Smith for many years to come," said Tim Allen, CEO and President of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.