As soon as it officially opened its new plant, Irving Consumer Products Inc. had already sold out its production capacity.
The Canadian company over the last two years has hired 200 people at a $470 million Macon plant that attracted the likes of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to a 2017 announcement showcasing its factory design.
Last month, at an official grand opening attended by Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, the company unveiled another architectural rendering: this time of a second-phase plant that will bring an additional $400 million into Macon’s Sofkee Industrial Park. The expansion will add 150 jobs along with the massive equipment needed for the operation.
“Our customers’ enthusiastic support of its state-of-the-art technology has meant that our new plant is already at capacity, so we’re thrilled to announce the second phase of this expansion project,” said Robert K. Irving, president of Irving Tissue, said in a news release published by Gov. Brian Kemp’s office.
Irving makes tissue, paper towels and toilet paper under the Scotties, Royale and Majesta brands, as well as store brands for many top retailers. The family company that has been around since 1882 and employs 15,000 people in the U.S. and Canada, including brothers who are sons of the founder and now serve as co-CEOs.
Mr. Irving enthusiastically addressed the crowd in front of banners with an Irving Tissue logo featuring a pine cone nestled amid needles. He promised a long-term commitment to Macon-Bibb county and underscored the area’s competitiveness.
“We reviewed many possible locations for this plant. Macon-Bibb came out on top for a number of reasons, not the least of which is is this being a region that has proven itself as a strong supporter of business with a quality workforce and dedicated employees,” he said in a video posted by the Macon Telegraph newspaper.
In another news report, Macon Mayor Robert Reichert excitedly thanked the company for “doubling down” on the community, providing an endorsement of its hospitality to international companies. Located in the same industrial park is Kumho Tire, a Korean company with a $450 million plant.
Irving’s new facility is set to be operational by 2021.