National Gypsum Co. has announced it will reopen its Wilmington, N.C., plant which was idled in 2009 during the housing industry downturn and national recession. The company plans to spend $25 million over five years to upgrade existing machinery and install new equipment. Over the next few months, National Gypsum will begin hiring and training new associates to supervise and operate the facility.
The plant will produce gypsum board used in home construction and commercial projects. It will receive gypsum rock, its primary raw material, from its Halifax, NS, quarry.
“We expect to have the plant operational by the end of the year,” says CEO Tom Nelson. “Wilmington will allow us to better respond to customer demand as the construction industry continues to build momentum. This plant also will help us grow our specialty gypsum board business which includes our family of PURPLE mold- and moisture-resistant products.
“We are grateful to Wilmington Business Development, New Hanover County Commission, and Wilmington City Council for their leadership and guidance in this endeavor. We also thank the North Carolina Railroad Co., the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and Duke Energy for their support for this project. They have welcomed us back to Wilmington. In turn, we will not only increase the community’s tax base and employ local citizens, but we also intend to be a good corporate citizen, as we were when the plant previously operated between 1979 and 2009.”
In addition to the upgrades, the company plans to build a rail spur into the plant, further expanding its ability to reach customers, many of whom prefer rail deliveries.
“It has been our pleasure to work with the National Gypsum team,” says Scott Satterfield, Wilmington Business Development CEO. “The company’s willingness to invest in its Wilmington facility says all the right things about our area.”
In 2006, the Wilmington Plant earned IndustryWeek Magazine’s Best Manufacturing Plants Award. It was one of 10 North American plants receiving the award that year. The award was based on its efficiency, productivity, manufacturing process, quality, safety, and community service.