News alert: Georgia Pacific to lay off 700 at Port Hudson facility

Georgia Pacific is announcing this morning it will close the communications paper division of its Port Hudson facility, as well as the wood yard, pulp mill and energy complex that support it.

The closure, effective in mid-March, will result in the layoff of some 650 workers at the plant, as well as the elimination of an additional 40 to 50 related sales and business positions companywide.

The local facility’s consumer tissue and towels division, which employs 300, will remain in operation but will rely on purchased pulp as its feedstock.

A Georgia Pacific spokesman says the decision is not a reflection of the local facility’s performance but is in response to changing market conditions and slowing demand for copy and office paper.

“The company ultimately decided that the required investment to sustain the operation long term, coupled with that declining market is just not viable,” says Kelly Ferguson, Georgia Pacific senior director of public affairs and communications.