BOGALUSA, La. — Gov. Bobby Jindal and International Paper Bogalusa Mill Manager Todd Crutcher announced that International Paper (IP) is investing $44 million to modernize the Bogalusa site, which helps retain over 400 jobs at the facility and nearly 1,700 jobs in the community.
In February, International Paper Co. completed a $4.5 billion acquisition of Temple-Inland Inc. and became the fifth owner of the Bogalusa mill in the plant's 106-year history. The $44 million investment will retain the 411 jobs — averaging more than $69,000 a year, plus benefits — and improve the competitiveness of the mill by adding new equipment and technology.
Gov. Jindal said, "International Paper is the largest private employer in Washington Parish and one of the top five economic drivers on the Northshore. Yet this community has been concerned for many years about the facility's future. That's why our state's Business Expansion and Retention Group began regular visits with Temple-Inland staff in early 2009 and continued to work with International Paper after it acquired Temple Inland's assets through a merger. The bottom line is that we made it a top priority to retain this facility and protect the thousands of jobs in this community. Today's announcement shows our strong commitment to retaining and growing existing Louisiana businesses. This upgrade will make the mill more competitive and help secure the long-term viability of this facility in Bogalusa."
International Paper, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., is a global leader in the paper and packaging industry and supplies a wide range of products that people rely on every day. IP operates 10 facilities in Louisiana, including locations in Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport, Mansfield, Minden, Campti and Spring Hill.
"We are extremely pleased to have the State of Louisiana partner with us in modernizing the Bogalusa mill. This combined effort will help our mill become even more competitive — which is positive for our employees, Bogalusa and the surrounding communities, and International Paper," Crutcher said.
The state's Business Expansion and Retention Group, or BERG, began regular visits with Temple-Inland staff in early 2009 and continued to work with International Paper after it acquired Temple-Inland's assets through the merger. The result of those discussions led to today's announcement of the Bogalusa mill modernization.
To secure the project, the state offered International Paper a $2.2 million Modernization Tax Credit to assist with upgrades to the plant. The modernization work at the plant is scheduled for completion in mid-2013. The company also is expected to utilize the state's Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global paper and packaging company with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include uncoated papers and industrial and consumer packaging, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs approximately 70,000 people following the acquisition of Temple-Inland Inc. and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2011 were $26 billion. Temple-Inland Inc., which was acquired in February 2012, had 2011 net sales of $4 billion. For more information about International Paper, its products and stewardship efforts, visit the International Paper website.