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GP project ‘on the move’

While local residents already know the big impact of the ongoing renovations at the Brewton Georgia Pacific Mill, others will soon see the size of the project.

GP officials have announced a large steam turbine will be transported from the Port of Pensacola to Brewton via flatbed trailer at the end of the week. Because of the size of the turbine, GP and a number of power officials are expecting traffic delays and short power outages in some areas of Florida.

While no local outages are expected in the Brewton area for Southern Pine customers, Alabama Power customers in Flomaton will be impacted by the transport.

“Southern Pine will be assisting with the equipment transport from Pensacola to Georgia Pacific in Brewton,” said Leslie Jackson, communications representative. “The transport is scheduled to pass through our service territory on Thursday and Friday. Southern Pine will have several linemen positioned throughout Hwy. 31, ready to assist, if needed.”

Beth Thomas with Alabama Power said based on the route, Brewton and Atmore customers should not experience any outages.

“For our customers, the main impact will be in Flomaton,” Thomas said. “Our customers there can expect their service to be interrupted on Thursday (Oct. 22) from 9 p.m. until midnight.

“Hopefully, this will allow our customers to plan,” she said.

The turbine will be used to recycle the steam produced as part of GP’s manufacturing process and covert it to electricity used to power the plant.

It has been housed in Pensacola since late July and will be hauled to Brewton on a trailer measuring 18-foot wide, 18.5-foot high and 192.5-foot long, GP officials said.

GP — a major producer of building and paper products — is investing $375 million in the plant, which produces linerboard and cartonboard used in making boxes. The project involves modernizing the mill’s recovery boiler system. While the project doesn’t create new jobs, it did secure the existing 450 jobs at the mill.

Construction started in July 2014 and is expected to be complete in 2016.