- Conyers, GA-based Pratt Industries has opened another 100% recycled paper mill, this time in Valparaiso, IN. The $260 million facility is the company’s fourth one, and marks the largest investment the company has ever made in the US. The plant will make lightweight paper to supply Pratt's adjoining corrugated box factory and similar plants around the Midwest.
- The facility—equipped with a wastewater pretreatment system using all recycled water—will enable 370,000 tons of recycled-content board to be produced a year while using less water, electricity, and natural gas than the company’s other mills.
- Many investors will assist in the funding of the facility. This includes the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC), which will invest $1.2 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training; NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Co.), which will invest about $15 million in energy incentives; and Valparaiso, which offered $200 million in industrial revenue bonds for the facility and equipment.
While low energy costs have thrown a hurdle in front of a lot of recyclers, the economic trend worked to the advantage of Pratt, with its 40 large-scale customers such as Amazon, Unilever, the U.S. Postal Service, Ford Motor Co., Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, and Home Depot. The company has continued to stretch and grow in a region where industry in general is booming—Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said the state has the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs, as reported in Recycling Today. Pratt’s new paper mill further boosts the region as the largest private investment in Valparaiso’s history.
"Indiana ranks first in the country with a third of its GDP tied to manufacturing," said the company’s chairman Anthony Pratt to Recycling Today. "We believe in America. We believe in American manufacturing, and we’re here to stay."
The company also made a major investment last year in a MRF closer to home in Conyers that recovers mixed fiber and processes single-stream, commercial, and industrial material, including commercial old corrugated containers (OCC).