International Paper will invest up to $52.2 million in capital to increase the efficiency at its paper mill in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The company plans to retain 492 direct jobs.
The modernization program would enhance the paper mill’s efficiency by upgrading the recovery boiler system, along with filtration, condenser and acid system enhancements in the papermaking process. The project would bring the company’s investment in capital upgrades at the Bogalusa Mill to $487 million since the company purchased the Washington Parish site in a 2012 acquisition of Temple-Inland Inc.
“Our planned investment represents the mill’s ongoing focus on maintaining safe and reliable operations, producing essential products that meet the needs of our customers and providing good jobs to the region,” said Bernie Chascin, the Bogalusa Mill manager. “We are grateful for the support of Louisiana leaders and our community partners who play an important role in our success. The plentiful fiber resources and hardworking people of Louisiana have made doing business here a worthwhile investment for over a century, and that is why we continue to invest today.”
Louisiana Economic Development (LED) began formal discussions about the Bogalusa Mill project plan with International Paper in March 2020. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes a $500,000 Modernization Tax Credit, and the company also is expected to utilize the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
“We congratulate International Paper for improving the competitiveness of its Bogalusa Mill and for investing in the future of IP employees in Louisiana,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “This commitment to Bogalusa and Washington Parish represents a significant project win for our entire state and reinforces the great strength of Louisiana’s forest products sector.”
“This announcement ensures that International Paper will remain a world-class facility and a leading employer for Washington Parish,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “While the company has been a significant force in the community for years, the production efficiency increases created by these upgrades will pave the way for an even brighter future. It’s great to know that the economic strength of Bogalusa will remain in good hands.”
Since making an initial $44 million capital investment in crane and wood-chipping technology in 2012, International Paper has increased the number of direct employees in its Bogalusa workforce from 411 to 492.
“International Paper is a critical economic driver for our parish and the most vital manufacturing presence in our community,” said Executive Director Ryan Seal of the Washington Economic Development Foundation. “We were delighted to work with the company and our state and regional partners to secure not only IP’s presence in Bogalusa, but also to heighten its performance and to preserve this great industrial asset for future generations.”
International Paper maintains significant operations across Louisiana. Beyond the Bogalusa Mill and box plant, IP maintains container plant operations in Springhill; a preprint and coatings plant along with a regional fiber-supply procurement office in Shreveport; a containerboard mill in Mansfield; a containerboard mill in Campti; and a bulk plant in Lafayette.