ATLANTA - Georgia-Pacific announced that it is investing in its Madison, Georgia, plywood operations, with recent and planned investments expected to total $65 million.
This includes a planned $26 million upgrade to the mill's veneer dryers that will increase drying capacity by approximately 35 percent. Project completion is expected by the third quarter of 2015. This follows the replacement of the mill's wood yard in June totaling approximately $19 million.
Plans are also under way to modernize other equipment at the Madison facility, which would total approximately $20 million and include an upgrade of a lathe and expansion of a glue line and pressing operations. Decisions for those investments are anticipated to be made before the end of 2014.
"We're committed to serving our customers as the housing market and economy show a slow and steady improvement," said Andy Konieczka, vice president and general manager for Georgia-Pacific's plywood business. "The investments at Madison will allow us to continue to meet our customers' growing needs, help to sustain our operations and give the mill the opportunity to be in the top tier of plywood operations across the country."
"Georgia-Pacific's investment and expansion in Morgan County is a testament to our state's pro-business climate and top-ranked workforce," said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. "Companies such as this one are moving aggressively to meet demand, and Georgia stands ready to equip them with the resources they need to remain competitive in the global marketplace."
"We are pleased that Georgia-Pacific is continuing to invest in their operations here in Morgan County," added Andy Ainslie, chairman of the Morgan County Board of Commissioners. "As our largest employer, Georgia-Pacific's impact on our economy is significant. We look forward to maintaining our excellent working relationship well into the future."
Georgia-Pacific is also evaluating the potential restart of an idled plywood mill either in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida or North Carolina. Potential restart of an idled operation will be determined by market conditions, access to wood supply, an engineering analysis for required permitting, installation of equipment and facility upgrades. Following review and site selection, a restart could occur in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Georgia Pacific has 13 plywood facilities across the United States, two of which are located in Madison and Warm Springs, Georgia. The company employs approximately 6,200 people directly in the state of Georgia, with approximately 450 people located at the Madison operations. Total compensation and benefits for Georgia-Pacific employees located in Georgia is approximately $680 million directly, resulting in approximately $1.7 billion in indirect wages and benefits for the state.
Since 2006, Georgia-Pacific building products has invested nearly $2.5 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.