The Port Hudson mill will receive investments of more than $300 million to upgrade one of its existing paper machines with the advanced technology and to install associated converting equipment. Engineering and related work is beginning immediately. Start up of the upgraded and new equipment is scheduled for 2012. The project will modernize the mill, improving its long-term competitiveness and helping to preserve existing jobs at the mill. Approximately 1,000 employees currently work at the mill. The project also will create significant construction-related jobs during the work.
Together, the investment at Port Hudson along with a similar investment at the company's mill in Crossett, Ark., will enable Georgia-Pacific to produce an innovative, next generation of premium branded and top-tier customer branded bath tissue to meet the growing demands of consumers and customers.
"This is a great win for East Baton Rouge Parish, our forest products industry and our entire state," said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. "For the last two years, we have secured more significant business development projects per capita than any other Southern state. This project is yet another great example of the value of making business retention and expansion our top economic development priority. Georgia-Pacific has long been one of the largest, most important employers in the Capital Region -- this $300 million modernization project will ensure that Georgia-Pacific continues to be a major contributor to our economy for years to come."
Jim Hannan, Georgia-Pacific chief executive officer and president, said, "This project is a portion of the approximately $12 billion Georgia-Pacific and other Koch companies have invested in our businesses during the last five years - even during difficult economic conditions. Koch companies have historically invested 90 percent or more of their earnings back into their businesses so that they can continue to grow, meet customer needs and create value for society."
This proprietary technology meets consumers' demanding needs for premium qualities in tissue products - including softness and absorbency - while reducing combinations of fiber use, energy use or water use versus alternative papermaking processes.
This investment in Louisiana is the latest in a long history of investment in the state by
Georgia- Pacific and other Koch companies. In Louisiana, Koch companies employ more than 1,300 people with total annual compensation and benefits of approximately $115 million.