Advanced Manufacturing

Saint-Gobain North America to Expand Existing Gypsum Facility in Palatka, Fla.

CertainTeed Interior Products Group, the building products subsidiary of Saint-Gobain North America, plans to expand its gypsum manufacturing facility in Palatka, located in Putnam County, Fla. The $235 million investment will more than double the production capacity of the existing plant, supporting the creation of 100 new jobs over the next two years.

“[This] announcement reaffirms our commitment to providing quality gypsum wallboard products to our customers, while remaining focused on sustainability and minimizing our carbon footprint,” said Jay Bachmann, Vice President and General Manager of CertainTeed Interior Products Group.

The Palatka facility, which currently employs more than 150 people, began operations in 2001 and is one of the largest gypsum plants in the southeastern United States. The expansion of manufacturing and warehouse space in Palatka is key due to its location in a fast-growing market for Saint-Gobain and its proximity to JAXPORT in Jacksonville.

The upgrades to the facility will further align the company’s goals of carbon neutrality by 2050 through the installation of new, best-in-class energy-saving equipment and automation technology. These include a new ultra-low energy board dryer expected to be about 25 percent more efficient than the plant’s existing dryer and a new mill system equipped with heat recovery technology expected to be nearly 40 percent more efficient than the existing mill and aligned with the most efficient systems of its type in North America.

“This is an exciting regional expansion that positions the company and Putnam County as leaders in sustainable, advanced manufacturing,” JAXUSA Partnership President Aundra Wallace said. “These are important and high-quality new jobs for our region. We appreciate CertainTeed’s investment in Northeast Florida and look forward to the company’s continued success here.”

Advanced manufacturing in the building and construction products industry have been active in expansion in the Jacksonville region in recent months with new facility announcements from roofing, waterproofing and insulation manufacturer IKO Industries in Clay County, Fla., and Spanish countertop manufacturer Cosentino Group in Jacksonville.