The housing market and economy are continuing to show a slow and steady improvement at best. And while we all wish we had a crystal ball, what is clear is that we’re going to continue investing in our business. This trend is continuing at both our Madison, Georgia, and Gurdon, Arkansas, building products operations.
At our Madison plywood operations, recent and planned investments are expected to total $65 million. This includes a planned $26 million upgrade to the mill’s veneer dryers that will increase drying capacity by approximately 35 percent. And in June of this year, we replaced the mill’s wood yard, an investment of approximately $19 million.
We’re also planning to modernize other equipment at our Madison facility, which would total approximately $20 million. We anticipate making final decisions on these investments before the end of 2014.
In Gurdon, we’re investing $37 million in our lumber operations that will expand the production capacity of the lumber mill by approximately 60 percent. This will include the installation of new equipment and infrastructure improvements, which are slated for completion by the third quarter of 2015. At the nearby Gurdon plywood mill, we’re also evaluating additional investments totaling approximately $20 million that would increase the mill's efficiency and capacity, as well as reduce air emissions.
Since 2006, our building products business has invested nearly $2.5 billion in capital for things like property and equipment upgrades as well as acquisitions. The acquisitions include the 2007 purchase of International Paper building products assets, the 2010 Grant Forest Products acquisition, and the $710 million acquisition of the former Temple-Inland Building Products assets made just over a year ago.
So while the market outlook is never certain, remaining competitive to meet customer demand is always the right move.