SELMA, Ala. — International Paper, a Tennessee-based company, is investing millions more into a mill in central Alabama.

Al.com reports that the pulp and paper company plans to invest $552.7 million in its Riverdale Mill to boost productivity. The company, located in Memphis, planned a $300 million conversion of its No. 15 paper machine at the mill.

The initial conversion would have allowed the mill to produce high quality whitetop linerboard and containerboard, adding 450,000 tons of annual capacity. With the additional investment, the mill will convert a line making uncoated freesheet, or copy paper, to linerboard and containerboard.

The products are important to the packing industry, the company said.

“This project is another indication of International Paper’s strong commitment to its Riverdale Mill and its workforce there,” Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. “It’s a great example of a company preserving its investment in a facility, and the jobs there, by pivoting output from one product to another that is in greater demand.”

Dallas County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Wayne Vardaman said the move is a “tremendous investment” in the community.

“IP is Dallas County’s largest employer with over 750 employees and numerous indirect jobs,” Vardaman said. “These employees now know that the Riverdale Mill is here to stay.”

Vince Perez, a project manager at the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the project will be aided by the Alabama Reinvestment Act, a new version of the traditional abatement act used on projects.

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