Manufacturer Plans $80M Paper Plant, Up to 83 Jobs in Fort Smith

Manufacturer Plans $80M Paper Plant, Up to 83 Jobs in Fort Smith

P.H. Glatfelter Co. of York, Pennsylvania, a publicly traded manufacturer of specialty papers and other fiber-based materials, announced Tuesday that it will — subject to local approval — open a plant in Fort Smith that will create up to 83 jobs.

Glatfelter (NYSE: GLT) will invest about $80 million in the facility, according to a news release from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The plant will make materials that are used in the wipes and hygiene markets.

The announcement said the location of the manufacturing operation is subject to approval by the city board of directors and closing on the purchase of the former Mitsubishi Power Systems building located in the Chaffee Crossing business park.

"We are truly excited to partner with the people of Fort Smith and Arkansas because we know that investing here makes great business sense for our company," Chris Astley, president of Glatfelter’s Advanced Airlaid Materials Business Unit and a senior vice president of Glatfelter, said in the release. "Locating here benefits our business in a number of ways. It will enable us to expand our capacity to meet our customers’ growing demand for our advanced airlaid products, provide us with closer proximity to key suppliers and customers, and link us to highly efficient transportation routes across the South. Equally important, it will allow us to tap into the area’s high-quality workforce."

Glatfelter has 12 production facilities in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom and the Philippines and employs more than 4,300 people worldwide. 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson was at the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce for the announcement.

"Glatfelter is a world-class company that is making a significant investment in Fort Smith while creating jobs that will improve the lives of many area families," Hutchinson said in the release. "We appreciate Glatfelter’s decision to locate in Arkansas and are proud to add Glatfelter to the growing list of manufacturers that are choosing to do business in the state."