ISRI member Pratt Industries’ paper division has made a huge investment in Henderson, Ky., announcing July 29 a $400 million paper plant that will employ more than 320 workers.

Pratt Paper plans to build two facilities totaling 1.15 million square feet along Kentucky Highway 425 in Henderson County. The company’s initial investment will support construction of a state-of-the-art, 450,000-square-foot paper mill that will manufacture 100% recycled products. Company leaders expect additional future investment to construct a 700,000-square-foot corrugator plant to produce corrugated sheet and boxes, including pizza boxes and packaging for major distributors and big-box stores, using paper sourced from the new mill.

“The paper mill will be the world’s most advanced, environmentally friendly, 100% recycled paper mill,” says Anthony Pratt, executive chairman of Pratt Industries. “It is the single biggest investment our company has ever made, and will create 1,000 jobs, including well-paying, American, green-collar manufacturing and construction jobs.”

According to Gov. Andy Beshear, Pratt’s investment is the largest investment in western Kentucky in more than 25 years, stands as the largest in the state in nearly two years, and is the third largest job-creation announcement of 2021. “This is a significant investment in Kentucky and one that will make Pratt Paper a major employer in Henderson County for years to come,” Beshear says. “Pratt is a company with a vision for the future, and I could not be more proud that future will include Kentucky.”

Tom Williams, general manager of Henderson Water Utility, notes Pratt’s commitment to sustainability. “We have been impressed with Pratt Industries every step of the way,” he says. “They care about our environment, and it is evident in their sustainability initiatives.”

Pratt leadership anticipates construction of the roughly 120-job paper mill will begin in March 2022, with completion slated for fall 2023. The corrugator facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2026 and to employ around 200 people once fully operational. Company leaders also expect the project to contribute to roughly 700 construction jobs over the coming years. The new location builds on Pratt’s presence in Kentucky, which includes a Pratt Display manufacturing plant in Hebron that employs over 200 workers.

A division of Conyers, Ga.-based Pratt Industries, Pratt Paper produces lightweight, high-strength containerboard and corrugated board sourced from 100% recycled products. The company operates mills in Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, and Ohio. Established more than 30 years ago, Pratt Industries employs more than 10,000 people in nearly 30 states. Pratt Industries is a sister company to Australia-based Visy, which was founded in 1948 and employs around 7,000 workers in Australasia.

Featured image courtesy of Aleksandar Pesaric on Pexels. Caption: Pratt’s newly announced recycled-paper mill in Henderson, Ky., is expected to support an adjacent corrugator facility. Body image courtesy of Kentucky Governor’s Office. Caption: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks Thursday, July 29, 2021, at the announcement of Pratt Industries’ future recycled paper plant in Henderson, Ky.