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Easley Announces 200 Jobs For Person County

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ROXBORO, N.C. — Gov. Mike Easley on Friday announced that BPB, a manufacturer and marketer of wall and ceiling products, has selected Roxboro for a new $100 million gypsum wallboard plant that will generate more than 200 direct and indirect jobs.

The location of the facility is directly related to the North Carolina Clean Smokestacks Act and the N.C. Moving Ahead! initiative.

"BPB's announcement to locate in Person County provides our state with an important environmental company that will not only hire highly-skilled workers, but will also use a by-product of newly-installed scrubbers at Progress Energy's Roxboro plant," Easley said. "Highway improvements made as a result of our N.C. Moving Ahead! program will enable the company to transfer its products to market. North Carolina is seeing the benefits of our continued investments in infrastructure, workforce development and the environment."

BPB will locate its new plant adjacent to Progress Energy's coal-fired power generator and will use synthetic gypsum, produced as a byproduct of that plant, to produce 700 million square feet of gypsum wallboard annually. The plant will be commissioned in 2007.

The plant also will use synthetic gypsum produced at Progress Energy's Mayo Plant, also in Person County.

"Synthetic gypsum is an excellent raw material for gypsum board," said Brent Thomson, President and CEO of BPB America Inc. "Using our advanced process technology, it provides highly consistent products in addition to very positive environmental benefits.

"We will put to productive use what would otherwise have been sent to landfills. Building this new plant in North Carolina is one more step in our strategy to position BPB in North America as a leading wallboard supplier."

The N.C. Moving Ahead! transportation initiative, announced by Easley last year, recognizes the important connection between transportation and economic growth and has committed to the widening and resurfacing of 12.9 miles of state roads at a value of $3.9 million to this specific project. The upgrades will take place between NC 57 and US 501 on SR 1340 (1.3 miles), SR 1336 (4.2 miles) and SR 1322 (7.4 miles). As part of the state's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) $850,000 worth of improvements to Bridge No. 60 over Marlowe's Creek on SR 1322 are already underway. N.C. Moving Ahead! will use $630 million to modernize about 2,400 miles of roads, replace 189 bridges and install 44 new signal systems across the state. An additional $70 million will invested in public transportation projects across the state.

"BPB's decision to locate in North Carolina is a perfect example of how our investments in infrastructure such as the N.C. Moving Ahead! projects are directly responsible for helping bring jobs to this state," said Rep. Wib Gulley (D- Durham).

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