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WestRock Begins $97 Million Woodyard Modernization Project at Its Hodge Containerboard Mill

WestRock groundbreaking at Hodge mill A groundbreaking ceremony at WestRock's containerboard mill in Hodge, Louisiana, was attended by company executives and state, regional and local government and business leaders.

Aug. 31, 2022 - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the start of construction today on a $97 million project to expand and modernize the woodyard at WestRock's containerboard mill in Hodge, Louisiana.

The investment in construction of a new woodyard and new equipment will increase capacity and efficiencies and reduce operating costs at the facility, the company said. It comes on the heels of the recently completed five-year modernization plan that the company announced in 2017.

WestRock employs more than 450 people with an annual payroll of more than $44 million in north Louisiana.

"WestRock is committed to delivering on the promise of a sustainable future," said Patrick Kivits, President of corrugated packaging at WestRock. "The planned woodyard improvements are expected to reduce the use of source material by 4% while yielding higher product volume. This makes our planet better and contributes to the long-term operational success of both our facility and the Hodge community."

Gov. Edwards stated, "WestRock's latest investment in this facility is an investment in the workers of north Louisiana and the rural revitalization of our state. These critical upgrades ensure the long-term viability of a facility responsible for more than 450 direct jobs and hundreds more indirect jobs in Jackson Parish. We're grateful for the company's continuing commitment to Louisiana's workers, to our rural communities, and to the growth and diversification of our timber industry."

Initial start-up of new wood processing equipment is scheduled for the second half of 2023, while construction is expected to continue into 2024 with a final completion date to be determined.

Louisiana Economic Development said WestRock is expected to utilize the state's Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

SOURCE: Louisiana Economic Development

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