Georgia-Pacific has restarted production at its Sterling, Ga., softwood lumber sawmill, which had been idled since November 2000.

The Sterling complex consists of three operations: a sawmill, a core mill and a lumber pressure treating facility. The core mill and the pressure treating facility continued to operate during the sawmill's idle period. The complex will have approximately 100 employees and capacity to produce 100 million board feet of dimensional lumber annually when operating fully. The sawmill also supplies wood chips to other GP operations.

"We have always kept the facility in operating condition and were committed to re-starting it," said Joe Olson, Southeast group manager of lumber. "I think the best part is seeing all the former employees who have returned."

Georgia-Pacific acquired the Sterling facility in 1988, from Brunswick Pulp & Paper. Lumber products produced at the plant are used in various residential and commercial applications. Some lumber is also treated and used for landscape projects. The plant is a part of the Wood Products division of Georgia-Pacific that produces plywood, composite panels, engineered lumber, oriented strand board and lumber products.