Georgia-Pacific to invest $120 million in Choctaw County mill

Georgia-Pacific to invest $120 million in Choctaw County mill
Georgia-Pacific's latest investment in its Choctaw County mill involves a new tissue machine and roll storage building. The company also is adding a biomass boiler and woodyard at the mill, announced previously. (contributed)

Georgia-Pacific announced plans to invest more than $120 million to add a new tissue machine and roll storage building at its mill in Choctaw County, the latest substantial investment in the facility.

The new projects continue Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific’s modernization of the Naheola mill, which includes ongoing construction of a new biomass boiler and woodyard. Georgia-Pacific said the modernization projects position the mill and its overall business to be competitive in the market.

“This is one of many investments we are making at our operations across the state of Alabama, and it highlights the long history and great relationships we have in the state and in the communities where we operate,” said Christian Fischer, CEO and president of Georgia-Pacific.

In the past five years, Georgia-Pacific’s capital investment at the Naheola mill has totaled more than $500 million, and its statewide investments have totaled approximately $1.6 billion.

Across Alabama, Georgia-Pacific operates eight facilities, employs more than 2,600 employees directly and pays more than $204 million in direct wages and benefits.

Georgia-Pacific has more than 2,600 employees at eight facilities in Alabama. (Georgia-Pacific)

Project benefits

The Naheola mill employs more than 900 people.

The Alabama mill produces retail bath tissue and paper towels used by consumers and also makes bleached paperboard, which is sold on the market and used to make Georgia-Pacific’s Dixie plates, cups and bowls.

“This is a great day to celebrate for our employees, the Naheola mill community and, most importantly, for our current and future customers,” said Kathy Walters, group president of Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products Group.

“All of these stakeholders benefit from these investments to make the Naheola mill a modern and competitive operation.”

Georgia-Pacific said engineering and related work has begun on the project, and startup of the new machine is scheduled for 2020.

An average of 200 construction and contract-related workers are expected to be onsite at the mill every day during the project, with a potential peak of 400 contract workers per day at the height of construction.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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