Georgia-Pacific to close Duluth hardboard plantThe company will permanently close the plant at the end of the month, putting 140 employees out of work.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Georgia-Pacific will permanently close its Duluth hardboard plant at the end of the month, putting 140 employees out of work.
“This is a closure; it is not a shutdown,” Eric Abercrombie, a company spokesman in Atlanta, said. “We are going to be looking to reallocate any useable equipment and sell the remaining assets. That would include the property.”
“The employees are welcome to apply for any other jobs we have” at other facilities, he said.
The employees at the plant were notified of the decision this morning, after weeks of rumors about the plant’s future. They will be paid and receive benefits for 60 days from today’s date.
“We realize this is a difficult decision and it is going to impact the community,” Abercrombie said. “The decision was made after a thorough review to optimize the business. That was based on the long-term vision for Georgia-Pacific wood products.”
The plant at 1220 W. Railroad St. makes a thin hardboard product called Superwood that’s widely used in the auto industry. Georgia-Pacific will shift the manufacturing of Superwood to other facilities.
The plant will close Aug. 31, with manufacturing ending the day before.
For competitive reasons, the company would not say how much Superwood is manufactured in Duluth.
“The news from Georgia Pacific is disappointing given previous assurances from the company that it would not close this plant,” Duluth Mayor Don Ness said in a news release late this morning. “We will start working immediately to support new operations at the plant. Meanwhile, our focus will be on the workforce that will be displaced. This is unfortunate and untimely news for our community. I'm very disappointed by this decision.”
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific manufacturers and markets tissue, packaging, paper, pulp, and building products and related chemicals. The company employs more than 40,000 people at approximately 300 locations in North America, South America and Europe.