Great Southern Celebrates Jesup Grand Opening
JESUP, GA. - The most versatile, diverse treating plant in the wood processing industry is up and running in Jesup, Ga.
With a grand opening event held November 16th, Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc., the nation’s No. 1 producer of treated lumber and maker of YellaWood® brand pressure treated pine, officially opened its newest facility.
Former Alabama football coach Gene Stallings was the featured speaker as more than 400 people took part in grand opening festivities and tours of the plant. Jimmy Rane, Great Southern Wood founder and chief executive officer, recognized the Jesup team for its work and dedication throughout the construction process.
“It has taken a lot longer than we hoped it would, but we are full go,” said Bill Freeman, the plant general manager. “The support and excitement of us being here has just been unbelievable. We were a big ‘shot in the arm’ for Wayne County. They have been great to work with and deal with. With all the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made, I feel like I’ve been here for 20 years.”
The company broke ground on the facility in the Wayne County Industrial Park in June 2004. The plant became operational last March. The 71-acre property includes a 195,0000-square-foot covered warehouse, a 100,000-board-foot gas-fired dry kiln, three pressure treating cylinders, a 45,000-square-foot fence panel production facility and a 21,000-square-foot remanufacturing site.
“There’s nothing like it in the industry,” Freeman said.
With a capability of producing 240 million board feet of lumber annually, the plant treats Great Southern’s famous YellaWood® brand Alkaline Copper Quaternary product, N-Durz® brand borate treated lumber and Chromated Copper Arsenate and was the first Great Southern facility to produce YellaWood® brand products with MCQ (Micronized Copper Quaternary). MCQ is a new treatment technology that offers improved corrosion performance and improved painting and staining capabilities in addition to providing protection from rot, fungal decay and termite attack. MCQ products are also available with a cedar tone pigmentation and a brown tone pigmentation for the look of cedar and redwood products.
Already, Great Southern has exceeded its job-creation commitment.
“We had a four-year commitment that we would have 100 jobs,” Freeman said. “We already have 105. We have some things we’ll be adding that will bump that up another 10-15.”
Freeman, who served as plant manager for Great Southern’s Conyers, Ga. facility for seven years, opened the company’s Statesboro, Ga. plant in 2000. For the last three years he has been supervising the construction process in Jesup.
Rane says it was obvious from his first contact with Jesup and Wayne County officials that Great Southern had found a home for its newest plant.
“We’re very excited about the facility in Jesup,” Rane said. “We fell in love with the city and are thrilled at the prospect of growing with this community.”