Georgia-Pacific invests $400 million in Palatka mill

The $400 million will cover costs of a paper machine, converting equipment and infrastructure to the Palatka plant which will update their operations with the latest technology.

The investment will add 80 permanent jobs as well as 500 construction-related jobs in addition to the 850 existing workers at the mill. Engineering on the plant will begin immediately, and construction is expected to begin at the end of 2017.

In the past decade, Georgia-Pacific has invested more than $300 million in its Palatka mill, not including today’s $400 million investment.

“The Palatka mill has been a major economic contributor in Putnam County for 70 years,” said Larry Harvey, chairman of Putnam County Board of County Commissioners. “It is gratifying that Georgia-Pacific continues to see our community as a solid location for significant investment. With this new manufacturing technology coming to the Palatka mill, we look forward to many more decades of opportunity together.”

Georgia-Pacific chose Palatka after considering several other locations across three states. But when it came down to it, the company’s 70 year relationship with the community, access to resources such as the existing pulp mill and infrastructure as well as lumber availability were among the deciding factors, said Terry Hadaway, Georgia-Pacific’s public affairs manager.

The Palatka mill already has two kraft paper machine, three paper machines and other operations that produce finished paper products. The investment will bring a paper machine and converting equipment and infrastructure to the Palatka plant.

Hadaway said operation of the investment’s equipment is expected to begin toward the end of 2019.

by Katie Garwood, Jacksonville Business Journal