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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson, left, and Hongxin Li, chairman and founder of Sun Paper, sign a memorandum of understanding after the announcement that the firm will create a $1 billion mill in Arkansas. ( John Moritz)

China-based Sun Paper has chosen Arkansas as the site of its first bio-products mill in North America, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday.

The $1 billion investment for a plant in Arkadelphia is expected to create 250 new jobs, Hutchinson’s office said in a news release.

“This is among the largest private investments in the state’s history and the impact will be felt for generations,” Arkansas’ Republican governor said.

In addition to the 250 jobs at the mill, officials with the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County estimated the development would spur 1,000 new jobs in the south Arkansas timber industry.

As incentive to attract Sun Paper over competing proposals in Arkansas and Mississippi, the county will invest $10 million in economic incentives funded by a sales tax passed by voters in 2014, according to Eric Hughes, who serves on the board of directors for the county economic development corporation.

Sun Paper will also get a 65 percent abatement on its property taxes, worth $92 million, Hughes said, bringing total local incentives to $102 million.

Mike Preston, the director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission did not disclose how much the state will invest in the project at Tuesday's news conference.

Check back with Arkansas Online for updates and read Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Photo by John Moritz
Mike Preston, director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, speaks while Gov. Asa Hutchinson and representatives from Sun Paper look on Tuesday.

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Archived Comments

  • BrightBulb
    April 26, 2016 at 10:43 a.m.

    How much corporate welfare does this Chinese giant company get from Arkansas taxpayers?

  • mrcharles
    April 26, 2016 at 10:50 a.m.

    ASA, not the Chinese !

    This is the beginning of the end. Soon they will buy wal-mart and the take over will be complete.

  • Nodmcm
    April 26, 2016 at 11:24 a.m.

    The Chinese cut down all their trees long, long ago. Note that there is very little the Chinese need from America, except our military technology and now our timber, and of course our money. They send lots of their kids here for education, too. Note that almost everything we buy in our day-to-day lives is made in China.

  • itryed
    April 26, 2016 at 11:46 a.m.

    Donald says all the jobs are going out, so when 250 jobs are created and a Billion( with a B$) comes into the state? We bicker.
    Don't know the benies we have to shell out, I don't know of any, but...what am I missing here?
    We MUST be diligent with reforestation or we run them off

  • Jfish
    April 26, 2016 at 11:46 a.m.

    I imagine very little brightbulb, America's unquenchable thirst for new, cheap stuff is probably all they need. As nod pointed out, walk into any big box store and look at the labels.

    April 26, 2016 at 1:24 p.m.

    All of the Free Trade agreements are the Reasons for the CHINA MADE products everywhere, Does anyone think Prices in America can compete with China and still have a Living Wage Made?? Any Idiot knows that Ross Perot was Correct in his Prediction Years ago, But no one then or now listened or really Cares. The Rich are getting Richer and the Poor are having their benefits cut and the Poor are catching Hell. Republicans are controlling about every state now and all of Washington, less the Presidency, The Fix has been in for a while now.

  • Packman
    April 26, 2016 at 1:34 p.m.

    Only in liberal la la land is job creation a bad thing (BrightBulb). Congratulations to Governor Hutchinson and the citizens of Clark County.

  • MaxCady
    April 26, 2016 at 1:43 p.m.

    What will be felt for generations is all the pollution and water fouling that this will bring to the "Natural" state! No thanks, should have gone to Mississippi.

  • Knuckleball1
    April 26, 2016 at 2:06 p.m.

    Well, I have been told 2 different stories about this mill from people in the areas where they have been looking.... Story #1... they were looking at Camden & Arkadelphia and it was going to be a pulp mill and the pulp was going to be sent to China to make paper. Story #2, it was going to be a paper mill and they were looking at Crossett, Camden & Arkadelphia for 1000 acres, but also wanted a way to ship by water (Crossett & Camden) but the mill is going to make toilet paper that will be shipped to China in shipping containers..... So Arkadelphia was right but will have to wait and see about the rest.

  • PopMom
    April 26, 2016 at 2:11 p.m.

    This is horrible news. Paper mills have horrible pollution problems. This week's edition of Newsweek has an article on all the pollution coming from the Koch brothers GA Pacific plant in Crossett. Steel mills, pig farms, and paper mills may create a few jobs, but then they take away the quality of the rivers and the air--hurting public health and tourism. Arkansas needs to invest in education which enables people to procure higher quality, higher paying jobs. Of course, the Chinese want to come in and pollute America. The Chinese are angry about the amount of pollution that they have at home.