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Management Side
International Paper Increasing Investment in Selma, Alabama Mill
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Selma, Alabama, USA 06 February 2018 -- (From news reports) -- Just a few months after announcing a major investment in its Selma mill, International Paper says it is putting an even greater amount in the location.

The Memphis-based company plans to invest $552.7 million in its Riverdale Mill in Dallas County to boost productivity.

Just last September, the company said it planned a $300 million conversion of its No. 15 paper machine at the mill. That move will allow the mill to produce high quality whitetop linerboard and containerboard, adding 450,000 tons of annual capacity.

The additional investment just announced will allow the mill to convert a line making uncoated freesheet, or copy paper, to linerboard and containerboard. The company says these products are important to the packaging industry, experiencing a boom of late due to demand from e-commerce.

The Alabama Department of Commerce quoted Selma and Dallas County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Wayne Vardaman as saying the move is a "tremendous investment" in the community.

"IP is Dallas County's largest employer with over 750 employees and numerous indirect jobs," Vardaman said. "These employees now know that the Riverdale Mill is here to stay."

"This project is another indication of International Paper's strong commitment to its Riverdale Mill and its workforce there," Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. "It's a great example of a company preserving its investment in a facility, and the jobs there, by pivoting output from one product to another that is in greater demand."

Vince Perez, a project manager at the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the project will be aided by the Alabama Reinvestment Act, a new version of the traditional abatement act used on projects.

This new act assists companies reinvesting in a facility to prevent it from becoming a "legacy plant," sometimes bypassed for new investment and downsized.

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