Boise plans $111 million DeRidder upgrade

Boise Inc. announced Thursday it will spend $111 million to reconfigure a newsprint machine at its DeRidder Paper Mill, a move than will create 54 new jobs.

Along with the new paper mill jobs, which will have an average annual salary of more than $66,500, plus benefits, the project will create 600 construction jobs. Louisiana Economic Development department officials estimate the project will create 222 new indirect jobs.

Officials with Boise, which is based in Idaho, said the plan is to reconfigure the newsprint machine, which was idled in 2009 because of market conditions. Once the work is completed, the machine will make lightweight linerboard and corrugated material, key components of packaging.

Construction on the paper machine is expected to begin in September and the project should be finished by the end of 2014.

Boise has 440 employees at the DeRidder Paper Mill, making it one of the key economic drivers of southwest Louisiana.

Boise will qualify for a number of incentives, including a $3 million Modernization Tax Credit and a $600,000 Economic Development Award Program for public infrastructure improvements associated with the expansion. The company is expected to use the Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.