Hoping to meet the growing demand for its Dixie-branded paper plates and bowls, Georgia-Pacific has completed an 80,000-square-foot plant expansion in Bowling Green’s South Central Kentucky Industrial Park, creating more than 70 jobs.
The Atlanta-based company – known as a manufacturer of building products, packaging and paper products – invested $100 million on an expansion of its Southwood Court plant that was announced last year and completed this month.
The company was approved last year by Warren Fiscal Court for the sale of $100 million in industrial revenue bonds.
Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority documents said Georgia-Pacific was approved in September 2019 for a reduction in the state ad valorem tax rate. The projected savings over the 20-year bond term is more than $4 million.
The company has completed several expansions since beginning operations in the industrial park off Nashville Road in 1992. The local facility now accounts for about one-quarter of the company’s paper plate and bowl production.
“This investment is about our customers and consumers, and I am incredibly proud of our Bowling Green team and excited about this growth and expansion,” David Duncan, executive vice president for Georgia-Pacific’s Consumer Products Group, said in a news release. “Demand is strong and growing for our Dixie plates and bowls, and this expansion will allow us to produce more of those products.”
The Bowling Green plant now has about 200 employees after the expansion of the facility to more than 300,000 total square feet.
Operating four shifts, the plant runs 24 hours a day.
Rachel Ryan, a Georgia-Pacific public relations representative, said the company’s investment makes the Bowling Green plant both bigger and better.
“It will include a new printer and new plate forming presses,” Ryan said when the expansion was announced. “It does enhance the plant’s capabilities.”
Tom Strother, Georgia-Pacific’s senior manager for public affairs and communications, said the upgrades to the Bowling Green plant will allow it to produce 70 percent more plates and bowls than before.
Georgia-Pacific also maintains a Dixie facility in Lexington, employing nearly 500 Kentuckians in total. The company has invested more than $200 million in its Kentucky operations over the past seven years.
Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries produce bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging, cellulose, specialty fibers, nonwoven fabrics, building products and related chemicals.
According to its website, Georgia-Pacific operates more than 150 facilities and employs about 35,000 people.
It makes products under such brand names as Brawny, Ultra, Quilted Northern and Sparkle.
Founded in 1927 as Georgia Hardwood Lumber Co., Georgia-Pacific has been a subsidiary of Koch Industries since 2005.
– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.