Great Southern Wood investing $13 million in Mobile plant

Investment will add jobs, improve flow through port

Great Southern Wood Preserving has operated a plant in Mobile since 1976.

Great Southern Wood Preserving has announced plans for a $13 million investment in its Mobile plant, adding a dozen more jobs to the present staff of 78.

The expansion is planned to improve traffic flow and storage at the facility in Irvington, in southern Mobile County, that has been in operation since 1976, and to improve the ability to process imports and exports through the nearby Port of Mobile.

“This expansion in Mobile is the next step in our long-term commitment to Mobile and the entire Gulf Coast region,” said Jimmy Rane, founder, president and CEO of Great Southern. “Very early in our company’s history, we identified Mobile and the Gulf Coast region as a key growth area. As a result, we built our second treating plant in Mobile County in 1976. Since then, we’ve experienced consistent growth, and this new investment of roughly $13.7 million will help set the path to future growth in the years to come.

“The project will expand the current footprint of the facility and will allow for improved traffic flow and therefore increased safety. In addition, the project will allow greater expansion of our distribution products business through increased storage, as well as improved ability to warehouse, store and process import and export material through the Port of Mobile. To help accommodate our growth, the existing office and manufacturing space at the location will be renovated, and we also expect our workforce to increase.”

Bradley Byrne, president of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce — which announced the expansion plans — said, “It’s all about being more efficient when getting products to suppliers. This is not only an investment into the Great Southern Wood facility, but an investment into the growth and expansion of the port.”

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The expansion will support growth of the region’s distribution and logistics infrastructure, said Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield. “In addition, the investment reflects the company’s commitment to a community that values it as a long-standing partner.”

Other local officials and strategic partner Alabama Power also praised the plans.

Groundbreaking is slated for January and the new facility should be operational by early 2024.

Founded in Abbeville in 1970, Great Southern Wood Preserving employs 1,800 people. In addition to the Abbeville and Mobile plants, there is a third Alabama plant in Muscle Shoals, plus plants in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Maryland.

The firm provides pressure-treated pine for markets across the U.S. plus Europe, Latin America, China, the Caribbean and elsewhere.

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