Georgia‐Pacific today announced it will build a new softwood lumber production facility in Warren County, Georgia, on property adjacent to its existing lumber mill. Construction of the $135 million, 340,000‐square foot, technologically advanced plant is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018 with an anticipated startup in spring 2019. Georgia‐Pacific’s existing lumber plant in Warren County will continue full operations until the new facility is completed. After startup of the new plant, Georgia‐Pacific estimates hiring an additional 30 to 40 employees, bringing its workforce in Warren County to approximately 150 people.
“We have enough property next to our existing mill in Warren County to build a larger facility equipped with the latest in lumber manufacturing technology,” said Fritz Mason, vice president and general manager, Georgia‐Pacific Lumber. “We have a great team at Warrenton and building a new state‐of‐the‐art facility on this site will make it competitive for years to come. The team has earned it.”
The new facility will be capable of over three times the output of the current facility. The existing facility has been operating since the early 1970s and technology in the lumber production business has changed significantly since that time.
Georgia‐Pacific employs more than 7,200 people at 18 locations in Georgia. Those jobs create an additional 21,440 indirect jobs. Since 2006 the company has invested approximately $1.9 billion in additional capital and acquisitions in Georgia.
“Georgia‐Pacific has found an abundance of success in Georgia, and this new softwood lumber production facility in Warren County allows them to continue to tap into the wealth of resources in Warrenton,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with this leading company as they not only drive innovation in this sector, but in the state.”
Mason added, “We chose to reinvest in Warrenton and Warren County due largely to our current talented employee base and the incredible reception we received from county and economic development officials.”
O.B. McCorkle, Executive Director of the Development Authority of Warren County said, “We are extremely proud that Warren County continues to be the choice for commerce in Georgia. We have a great relationship with Georgia‐Pacific at the current lumber facility and we look forward to having this technologically advanced facility in our county.”
Once in production, the new facility will receive approximately 185 truckloads of pine logs a day and produce approximately 350 million board‐feet of lumber per year.
According to Dr. Wes Clarke at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the project will support 454 direct fulltime construction jobs in Warren County, another 41 fulltime indirect jobs supporting the project, and 42 induced jobs in the community during the construction period. This construction activity will have a positive economic impact of more than $28 million added to Warren County during construction.
“Last year we announced a similar project in Talladega, Alabama that will begin production this summer. This new facility at Warrenton is the second of several we have in our current plan,” Mason said. “The demand for lumber continues to improve as the housing market recovers, so we continue to evaluate similar investments in several states across the country to serve our customers’ needs for lumber.”