Chesterton Tribune



Pratt Paper to build new $260M facility next to its box making plant in Valpo

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Pratt Paper (Indiana) LLC, d/b/a Pratt Industries, a paper and packaging company headquartered in Conyers, Ga., has announced plans to locate a new recycling facility in Valparaiso, creating up to 137 new jobs by 2018, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Pratt will invest $260 million to construct a new 100-percent recycled paper facility adjacent to its existing box-making plant in Valparaiso. The project, when completed by July 2015, will occupy a new 250,000 square-foot building on a 50-acre site. It will include a wastewater pre-treatment facility and road improvements. At full capacity, the new mill will produce an increased 360,000 tons of recycled paper each year.

“Companies with existing Indiana operations can speak from experience about the advantages of operating in the Hoosier State,” Gov. Mike Pence said. “After conducting a nationwide search for the location of its new paper mill, Pratt decided to expand its Indiana facility because they knew our workforce is up to the task. With the pro-growth business environment we've worked hard to create, companies can expand here with confidence, knowing that Indiana is a state that works.”

Pratt, which currently employs more than 320 associates in Valparaiso and more than 4,000 across North America, plans to begin hiring paper machine operators, equipment operators, electrical and instrumentation technicians, shipping representatives, waste yard personnel, shift supervisors and maintenance associates late next year, the IEDC said.

“This new recycling facility will allow us to better service the needs of our expanding customer base not only in the Midwest, but throughout the United States,” said Anthony Pratt, the company’s owner and chairman. “And Indiana is a perfect fit for us. We've been a part of the business community here for many years now and we know there is a skilled, reliable workforce available to us. It's also gratifying to work with such dedicated public officials who realize the importance of attracting well-paying manufacturing jobs to the state.”

Founded in 1987, Pratt is the world's largest privately held company to produce all of its paper and packaging from 100 percent recycled products, saving the equivalent of more than 50,000 trees each day, the IEDC said. The company produces 1.15 million tons of recycled paper annually, most of which is used to produce packaging for various market sectors including industrial, food and beverage, electronics, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications.

The IEDC offered Pratt Paper (Indiana), LLC up to $1.2 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority will also support the project through its Deal Closing Fund, the IEDC said.

In addition, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company has offered the company $15 million in additional energy and infrastructure incentives as part of its continued efforts to support local economic development.

And the City of Valparaiso will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission.

“Pratt's decision to build an expansive paper recycling plant is, we believe, the single largest private taxpaying investment in the history of the City of Valparaiso, and brings profound benefits to our community," Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas said. “This level of investment will have positive residual benefits that will continue to expand our regional economy. It has been a real pleasure working alongside Pratt executives to pave the way for this expansion and it is clear to us why they have become the world's largest privately-held 100 percent recycled paper and packaging company.”


Posted 9/18/2013