Georgia-Pacific ramps up lumber production

A new Talladega, Ala. facility is the first of 3 new mills in the Southeast.

BY Andy Carlo

Georgia‐Pacific has officially fired up production at its newest lumber facility in Talladega, Ala.

The $100‐million, 300,000‐square‐foot, technologically-advanced plant took 9 months to complete and has more than 130 full-time employees.

The Talladega plant is the first of three new lumber production facilities Georgia‐Pacific will be opening in the Southeast by the end of 2019.

While the Talladega facility began operating this past November, the company recently celebrated the start‐up with a dedication on the facility’s grounds with state and community leaders including Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Georgia-Pacific President and CEO Christian Fischer, and City of Talladega Mayor Jerry Cooper.

“This investment in Talladega, and across Alabama, drives home our focus on providing long-term value to our customers, communities, employees and company,” said Fischer. “I’m proud of the many talented employees working at this site.”

The manufacturer said Alabama represents another significant state for Georgia‐Pacific’s operations. There are currently more than 2,300 employees in Alabama working in 8 facilities that span all the company’s business segments. In the last five years, Georgia-Pacific has invested approximately $1.2 billion in its operations across the state.

“Georgia‐Pacific’s new lumber facility in Talladega is the company’s eighth location in the state, which further shows that Alabama is a great place to do business,” Governor Ivey said. “Our amiable business climate and unparalleled workforce are why notable companies like Georgia‐Pacific continue to do business in our great state.”

The new facility receives approximately 150 log trucks a day and produces approximately 230 million board feet of lumber a year, with plans to expand production to 300 million board feet per year in the near future. The facility’s current plan is to ship out approximately 50 truckloads of lumber each day.

“The availability of talent and natural resources make Talladega an ideal site for this new lumber production facility,” said Fritz Mason, vice president and general manager, Georgia‐Pacific Lumber. “The city of Talladega, Talladega County and the state of Alabama have been incredibly supportive of this new venture, and we look forward to a long and beneficial relationship.”

Last month, Georgia-Pacific broke ground on a new 340,000-square-foot softwood lumber production facility in Warrenton, Ga. The new $135 million facility will replace an older plant in Warrenton that dates back to the early 1970s.

Once operational, the new facility will produce about 350 million board-feet of lumber annually. Another facility is also scheduled to open in Albany, Ga. in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“The demand for lumber continues to improve as the housing market recovers,” said Mason.

In other company news, Georgia-Pacific also announced that it is exiting the communication papers business following an assessment of its long-term competitive position in a declining market. As a result, the company will permanently shut down communication papers machines, related converting assets, as well as the woodyard, pulp mill and a significant portion of the energy complex at its Port Hudson, La., facility.

Approximately 650 jobs at the facility will ultimately be impacted by the communication papers and pulp asset closures. About 40 business and sales jobs also will be affected by this decision.

Georgia-Pacific said it will continue to operate and invest in the Port Hudson mill to support its growing consumer tissue and towel business. The company will retain approximately 300 employees to manage those operations.


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