Saint-Gobain North America announced plans to invest $235 million over the next two years to expand its CertainTeed gypsum manufacturing facility in Palatka, Florida, more than doubling the facility’s production capacity and creating more than 100 new jobs.

In a July 10 news release, Saint-Gobain said the expansion of manufacturing and warehouse space in Palatka, located near the Port of Jacksonville, comes as the concern continues implementing its global ‘Grow and Impact’ strategy.

The company said sustainability will be a key component of the expansion project, in line with its pursuit of carbon neutrality by 2050. Saint-Gobain said the CertainTeed expansion would include installing best-in-class energy-saving equipment and automation technology. Among other energy-saving additions are an ultra-low energy board dryer, expected to be about 25 percent more efficient than the plant’s existing dryer, and a new mill system expected to be nearly 40 percent more efficient; aligned with the most efficient systems of its type in North America.

“Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to providing quality gypsum wallboard products to our customers while remaining focused on sustainability and minimizing our carbon footprint,” said Jay Bachmann, vice president and general manager of CertainTeed Interior Products Group. “We look forward to growing our already robust presence in Palatka and Putnam County and would like to thank the State of Florida and all of our partners for their support to make this expansion a reality.”

The project is aided by more than $7 million in cash benefits and high-impact investment tax credits, including a State of Florida Capital Investment Tax Credit, a Career Source Florida Quick Response Training Grant, a grant from Putnam County and a Clay Cooperative Economic Development Rate.

“Today’s announcement is a strategic investment for Florida-based manufacturing that will continue to fuel Florida’s economic growth,” said Florida Commerce Secretary J. Alex Kelly. “Supporting the growth of vital industries, diversifying local economies and careers for Floridians — we are pleased to support the creation of more than 100 new employment opportunities for Palatka residents.”

The company said the Palatka facility, which began operations in 2001 and currently employs more than 150 people, is one of the largest gypsum plants in the southeastern United States.

“We are excited to join the community in congratulating CertainTeed on the expansion at its Putnam County Plant,” said Commissioner Terry Turner, chairman of Putnam County Board of County Commissioners. “CertainTeed has been a longstanding valued member of our county and has achieved great success here.”

“We are thrilled to see our local commercial gypsum manufacturing facility continue to excel,” Turner added. “Putnam County is proud to have played a small part in creating an atmosphere that allows CertainTeed to reach new heights.”

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