Irving Consumer Products plant heading to Macon, creating 200 jobs

A new plant is heading to Macon and will employ 200 people / Danielle Apolinar (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- It was announced on Wednesday that Macon will become the new home to an Irving Consumer Products plant.

Irving Consumer Products is "one of North America's leading manufacturers of premium quality private label and store brand household paper products, baby diapers, and children's training pants," according to the company's website.

Co-CEO Robert Irving announced a plant expansion of the company's U.S. operation to Macon at the Historic Terminal Station Wednesday morning. They'll construct a $400 million state-of-the-art tissue plant creating over 200 permanent jobs in Macon.

"We look forward to building a strong relationship with the wonderful people of this community," Irving said.

Irving said construction on the plant will begin this summer and be completed in 2019. It will be located at Sofkee Industrial Park.

During construction, more than 540 people will be employed on-site.

Engineering for the project is "well underway," according to Irving.

The Macon plant will create products like bath tissue and high quality paper towels.

Irving said Macon was chosen following an extensive evaluation of different cities.

"It was clear we shared mutual values," Irving said of city leaders.

He added that the company wants to build a project that will become a contribution to Macon for the next century.

"It will provide a better footprint to service our customers in the southeast United States," Irving said.

Cliffard Whitby, Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority Chairman, praised Irving's leadership.

"I've never met a CEO so beloved by his employees and I want to salute you, sir," Whitby said. "You're sitting by a man who has made the people his priority."

Governor Nathan Deal and Irving unveiled the plant design to the crowd and then shook hands.

"This is just the beginning of our work in Georgia!" Irving told Deal.

"It is a great day for the state of Georgia," Deal said to the crowd.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was also at Terminal Station. Deal said his attendance shows how important this plant operation is important to the country.

"I'm glad to be here to celebrate this new and exciting investment in Georgia's economy, in Georgia's workers," Ross said.

Deal said that in Fiscal Year 2017 alone, there have been 14 economic development projects in the area that brought around 747 jobs.

"It is a team effort at the state level," Deal said. "It is a cooperative team effort with the local community. Welcome to the state of Georgia."

This is the second Irving tissue plant in the United State and the first one to be built in 13 years.

J.D. Irving, Limited employs 15,000 people and has been in business 135 years. It's headquartered in New Brunswick, Canada.

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