Georgia-Pacific of Atlanta has plans to invest $37 million in its lumber plant in Gurdon to expand the production capacity of the mill by about 60 percent.
The improvements include the installation of a new continuous dry kiln and a planer mill, in addition to infrastructure improvements. The project is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2015.
Georgia-Pacific said it is also evaluating about a $20 million investment into the Gurdon plywood mill to increase its efficiency and capacity, and reduce air emissions.
“As the housing market continues a slow, but steady improvement, our plans to invest at Gurdon ensure our ability to meet the growing needs of our customers and become their lumber supplier of choice,” Fritz Mason, vice president and general manager for Georgia-Pacific, said in a news release. “This is an opportunity to broaden our product offerings, enhance quality and improve our cost competitiveness.”
Eric Hughes, chairman of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance, said local support would be provided to complete the expansion through the Clark County economic development sales tax.
“We have been working alongside Mayor Clayton Franklin and other community leaders to upgrade the sewer treatment plant, along with increasing the treatment plant’s capacity, at the City of Gurdon — a key element to Georgia-Pacific’s expansion effort,” Stephen Bell, president and CEO of AREDA, said in the release.
Georgia-Pacific has eight facilities in Arkansas and employs about 2,700 Arkansans, including about 630 at the Gurdon mill.