Georgia-Pacific is investing $70 million for upgrades to its plywood and lumber operations in Gurdon, Arkansas.
Georgia-Pacific bought the plant in 2006 from International Paper Co., which built it in 1979. That $237 million deal also included two other plywood and lumber complexes in Camden, Texas, and Springhill, La.; a plywood mill in Corrigan, Texas; and an engineered wood products mill in Thorsby, Ala.
Of the 2,400 workers at the five plants at the time, 650 were at the Gurdon plant, Georgia-Pacific said. Gurdon, in Clark County, has about 2,100 residents.
The $70 million investment announced Wednesday includes installation of an advanced merchandiser that determines best end-product use, new panel assembly stations, an upgraded power plant, and software and security enhancements. Work will be completed in 2020.
In 2016, the company completed a $40 million upgrade at the Gurdon mill, increasing production capacity by 60%, Georgia-Pacific said at the time.
Including the $70 million investment, Georgia-Pacific has spent more than $645 million in the past five years on its operations across Arkansas, the company said. Georgia-Pacific has 2,310 employees in Arkansas, with annual wages and benefits totaling $180 million, in Gurdon, Fordyce, Crossett and Fort Smith.
In June, Georgia-Pacific announced that 655 workers in Crossett and Hope would lose their jobs in the next few months.