Georgia-Pacific will invest an initial $9 million to expand its lumber operations center in Dudley, North Carolina. The project is part of a multi-phase increase in the mill's lumber production capacity and supporting infrastructure.
GP said most of the investment will be used to construct a new continuous dry kiln that will double the kiln capacity at the mill and create approximately 20 new jobs. Construction is expected to start immediately and is scheduled for completion by the second quarter of 2014.
The company also is conducting engineering analysis, infrastructure evaluation and permitting studies for additional capital investments under consideration for the mill, which could total up to $90 million if made.
The Dudley investment is part of Georgia-Pacific’s larger investment plan. The company also is evaluating investments in other building products facilities in several other Southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. The investment under consideration would increase Georgia-Pacific's overall production capacity by approximately 20 percent.
"With the housing market continuing a slow and steady improvement, these planned investments will allow Georgia-Pacific to provide our current and future customers with the products they need as they begin to ramp up their operations," said Mark Luetters, Executive Vice President, Georgia-Pacific building products. "We take a long-term approach to our building products business, and planning these investments demonstrates our commitment to the building products industry and the communities where we operate."
Neal Benton, chairman of the Wayne County Development Alliance, added, "Georgia-Pacific's commitment to Wayne County is a testament to the relationship that exists between their leadership, the Development Alliance, and the County of Wayne. We greatly appreciate this significant investment and new job creation."
Georgia-Pacific has eight facilities in North Carolina, seven of which are part of the building products business. The company employs approximately 800 people directly in North Carolina, including approximately 530 people at the Dudley operations.