Green Bay Packaging, a pulp and paper company based in Green Bay, Wisc., produced the first reel of paper at its new paper mill on March 11, the company announced. Since breaking ground on the paper mill two years ago, the company views this milestone as a step toward reaching full production capacity. The company’s $500+ million investment “has had a profound, positive impact on Northeast Wisconsin’s economy and the environment,” according to the press release.
Located at the mouth of the Fox River, south of the Leo Frigo Bridge, the new mill will produce containerboard using old corrugated containers and mixed paper. The mill is the single biggest project in the company’s history, says Will Kress, the company’s chairman and CEO. “These are exciting times at Green Bay Packaging as we ramp up production on our new paper machine,” he says.
To design and construct the facility, Green Bay Packaging teamed up with local companies in Northeast Wisconsin and Green Bay. The company chose Voith Paper as its full-line equipment supplier for the project. Voith Paper’s North American headquarters are in Appleton, Wisc. Neenah-based Miron Construction served as the general contractor for the paper mill’s construction. At the height of the project, there were over 1,150 workers on-site daily, according to the release.
The construction and startup involved in the new mill will preserve more than 1,100 Green Bay Packaging jobs across Brown County and over 1,500 jobs in Wisconsin, according to the company. The investment will enable Green Bay Packaging to further grow its Wisconsin workforce, “while significantly increasing production capacity and product quality.” The company aims for the paper mill to operate in an environmentally sustainable way while also benefiting the entire regional supply chain.
The Green Bay Packaging employees and all of its partners were able to work together and meet the production schedule even in the midst of the pandemic, says Matt Szymanski, vice president of mill operations. “Voith, Miron, and our other major equipment suppliers have proven to be great partners that were committed to the success of this project, delivering a world-class paper mill,” he says.