Pratt to build new mill in Kentucky

Photo: Pratt

Pratt Paper LLC plans to build a new $400 paper mill and corrugating plant in Henderson, Kentucky. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2022 and the mill is expected to start operating during the fall of 2023. The mill is expected to employ about 321 people.

“The paper mill will be the world’s most advanced, environmentally friendly 100 percent recycled paper mill,” said 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. We see further investment potential in this dynamic state. I believe in regional manufacturing. It’s the heart and soul of America and there is no better place than Kentucky.”

Pratt 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 percent 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 paper mill.

The corrugator facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2026 and employ about 200 people once fully operational.

Pratt’s new operation will support Kentucky’s thriving logistics and distribution industry, which employs nearly 80,000 people at 590 facilities statewide, according to state officials. Due to online ordering throughout the pandemic, warehouses and shippers saw surging demand and expansion opportunities. In the past 12 months, distribution and logistics companies committed to creating nearly 2,000 full-time, Kentucky-resident jobs over the coming years with 34 facility expansions and new-location projects statewide. Those projects include nearly $285 million in private-sector investment in the commonwealth.

“This is a significant investment in Kentucky and one that will make Pratt Paper a major employer in Henderson County for years to come,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with Pratt under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $14 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $400 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 321 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $39 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved Pratt for up to $3.5 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA), which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

The new location builds on Pratt’s existing presence in Kentucky, which includes a Pratt Display manufacturing plant established in Hebron in 2011.

A division of Conyers, Georgia-based Pratt Industries Inc., Pratt Paper produces lightweight, high-strength containerboard and corrugated board sourced from 100 recycled recycled products. Currently, the company operates paper 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 people in the Australasia region.


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