Georgia-Pacific celebrated the official start of production at its newest lumber facility in Talladega, Alabama.
The $100-million, 300,000-square-foot, technologically advanced plant took nine months to complete. The plant currently employs more than 130 full-time employees and will generate an estimated $5 million in annual payroll.
To celebrate the start-up, Georgia-Pacific hosted a dedication on the facility's grounds with state and community leaders. Among the guests were the Honorable Governor Kay Ivey, Georgia-Pacific President and CEO Christian Fischer and the 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. We thank Governor Ivey and Mayor Cooper, and all our community friends and neighbors for supporting our operations and celebrating this achievement."
Alabama represents a significant state for Georgia?Pacific's operations. Currently, there are more than 2,300 employees across eight 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."
According to the University of Alabama's economic modeling, the construction of the plant had an estimated economic impact of more than $26 million on the city and county.
"Georgia-Pacific has seven other wood and paper?related operating plants in the state," said Calvin Miller, executive director of the Talladega County Economic Development Authority. "This expansion illustrates their commitment to Talladega, Talladega County and the state of Alabama for many years to come."
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.
"The demand for lumber continues to improve as the housing market recovers," said Mason. "We look forward to starting up our other two mills currently under construction in Warrenton, Georgia, in the spring and in Albany, Georgia, in late 2019."