GP closes fiberboard plant in Diboll

DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - One of the biggest employers here in Deep East Texas, Georgia-Pacific, has decided to close one of their facilities. That closure affected ninety employees.

Business was booming at the Diboll plant built in the late 1950's.

"It's one of the older facilities," said John McClain, the Mayor of Diboll.

It was originally owned by Temple-Inland, financed by the sale of Southland Paper mills stock. It was an effort to recycle wood from the sawmill.

"I worked there when I was going to high school and college, so I'm very familiar with the facility," McClain said.

It was a staple in the community.  The History Center in Diboll is stocked with photos of the Temple's taking the community on tours.  The Intouch magazine called fiberboard the "product of all times."

"Unfortunately, the product, the market has declined," McClain said.

It was most recently run by GP.  The shift from the use of fiberboard was a factor the plants closure.

"I'm extremely sad for the community and sad for the employees that will be laid off," McClain said.

The plant had hopes for success in the 70's with two expansions that equaled 30 million dollars. Near the turn of the century, the motors and machines were put to rest after running for decades.

Company spokesman Eric Abercrombie said employees were notified Thursday morning, but they will have a chance to gain employment at one of several GP facilities in East Texas.

"We want to make it clear this is not a reflection of the employees at the facility," Abercrombie said.

GP acquired the Diboll and Camden plants from International Paper in 2013. The plant was initially run by Temple-Inland and it started in 1958.

Abercrombie said the plant has been closed for the past two weeks due to weather damage.

Copyright 2015 KTRE. All rights reserved.