Georgia-pacific keeps busy

In May, Georgia-Pacific’s Brewton, AL, mill completed a $388-million energy improvement project after two years of construction. The modernized, streamlined mix of equipment in the mill’s recovery boiler system (pictured) lets it generate its own energy using natural gas and biofuel residuals from the paper-making process.

Brewton also kicked off another $50-million investment to upgrade the paperboard machine. Slated to begin in late summer, part of the machine will be rebuilt to improve the quality of the mill’s white-top linerboard and increase its competitiveness. It also makes solid bleached cartonboard.

New machine for Palatka. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Georgia-Pacific’s $355-million acquisition of the Brewton mill from Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. In the last five years, Georgia-Pacific has invested about $8.5 billion in operations across the country, including Alabama, with about $1.2 billion to grow existing operations, acquire new operations and improve safety and environmental performance across all businesses.

In June, Georgia-Pacific said that its Palatka, FL, mill would be the location for the previously announced investment of over $400 million in its GP Consumer (retail) tissue and towel business.

The project includes a new paper machine using through-air-dried (TAD) technology plus associated converting equipment and infrastructure. Engineering and related work has begun with a 2019 target for start-up.

In the last 10 years, capital investment and acquisitions in the Palatka mill have totaled $306 million and statewide investments have totalled $1.5 billion.

The Palatka mill, started some 70 years ago, currently has two kraft paper machines, three paper machines for both bath tissue and paper towels, and converting operations.

The improvements will allow Georgia-Pacific’s current and potential customers to grow their premium private label towel brands and expand the company’s Brawny® premium paper towel brand.

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