Gov. John Bel Edwards and Hood Container Senior Vice President Wayne Morgan today announced the company’s paper mill in West Feliciana Parish will complete a $50 million efficiency upgrade and capacity expansion.
With the project, Hood Container will keep 306 existing employees and a $23 million annual payroll at the mill on the Mississippi River, near St. Francisville. The expansion also is expected to support 75 construction jobs.
Hood Container acquired the 61-year-old former Crown Zellerbach and Tembec mill in 2015, after it emerged from federal bankruptcy protection filed by an interim owner. Since the acquisition, Hood has committed more than $100 million in capital investments to upgrade the facilities.
The project will increase the efficiency of Hood Container’s pulp-refining operation through the installation of two digester blow-line refiners. In addition to linerboard for box packaging, Hood Container’s St. Francisville mill also produces kraft paper.
Louisiana Economic Development began discussions about the potential expansion with Hood Container in May 2019. To secure the project, the state of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes a $200,000 Modernization Tax Credit, which will be allocated in equal amounts over five years. Hood Container also is expected to use the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.