Improving Business in the Wilmington Region


Global Construction Materials Maker Will Create at Least 51 Jobs

May 8, 2018 (Wilmington, N.C.) – National Gypsum Company will re-open its Wilmington production facility, investing $25 million over the next five years in new infrastructure and equipment, and creating at least 51 jobs at salaries averaging $57,000 per year.

“We expect to have the plant operational by the end of the year,” said Tom Nelson, chief executive officer of National Gypsum, which is headquartered in Charlotte. The plant will support the company’s production of specialty gypsum board, including its family of PURPLEÒ mold- and moisture-resistant products. “Wilmington will allow us to increase capacity as the construction industry continues to build momentum,” Nelson said.

The privately-held company is the nation’s second largest producer of gypsum wallboard and a leading supplier of interior finishing products and cement board to buyers in the construction industry. Its plant on Sunnyvale Drive in Wilmington operated from 1979 through 2009, when the global financial meltdown dramatically slowed residential and commercial construction, forcing National Gypsum to idle its Wilmington operation.

The vertically-integrated company will utilize raw materials from its quarry in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which will arrive as bulk cargo to its 46-acre site along the Cape Fear River near the Port of Wilmington. Much of National Gypsum’s finished product will be shipped via rail. Its investment in Wilmington therefore includes construction of a new rail spur to the plant. Performance-based incentives from New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington are supporting the company’s re-opening of the facility.

“We are grateful to the team at Wilmington Business Development, the New Hanover County Commission, and the Wilmington City Council for their leadership and guidance in this significant endeavor. Also the North Carolina Railroad Company, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and Duke Energy for their assistance and support for this project. They have welcomed us back to Wilmington,” Nelson said.  In turn, we will not only increase the community’s tax base and employ local citizens, but we also intend to be a good corporate citizen, as we were when the plant previously operated between 1979 and 2009.”

National Gypsum’s announcement comes amid ongoing strength in the nation’s building industry. In the first quarter of 2018, U.S. construction spending reached $279 billion, a 5.5 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Greater Wilmington is proud to welcome National Gypsum back,” said Scott Satterfield, chief executive officer of Wilmington Business Development (WBD). WBD worked closely with company officials as well as local and state leaders in addressing National Gypsum’s location needs. “Competition for this project was intense, but our region’s geographic, infrastructure and leadership advantages were more than up to the challenge of bringing home this substantial economic investment, along with the quality jobs that go with it,” Satterfield said. “I commend our board, staff, allies and partners, whose hard work and can-do attitude once again helped Wilmington win.”

Founded in 1956, Wilmington Business Development oversees business recruitment and industrial retention for the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County and Pender County. A private, non-profit organization, WBD supports members, partners and allies through an array of technical expertise, leadership resources and value-added business services. For additional information, visit