Owner invests $41.5 million in West Monroe paper mill

Graphic Packaging International Inc. will spend $41.5 million to upgrade its paper mill in West Monroe, corporate officials and Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Tuesday.

The paper mill manufactures paperboard for use in beverage and other product packaging at two other company sites in the Ouachita Parish city.

Officials of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development said they offered GPI a $720,000 modernization tax credit that can be claimed over a five-year period.

State officials added the corporation also is expected to use Louisiana’s industrial tax exemption program. Once the $41.5 million project is completed, the program would exempt GPI from local property taxes on the site for up to 10 yars.

“We weighed many factors in our decision to further invest in the West Monroe mill,” said Tony Hobson, GPI’s vice president and resident manager. “The state’s pro-business environment and the exceptional workforce made a significant impact.”

The project includes an expansion of the mill’s fiber storage capacity. Upgrades also will be made in the dryer section, coater and stock-cleaning areas of the facility.

Based in Atlanta, GPI employs 1,340 workers at its three West Monroe sites.