Green Bay Packaging recently held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new $500 million paper mill in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the first new mill to be built in the state of Wisconsin in more than 35 years.

“To say it’s just a paper machine is an oversimplification of what’s been built here,” said Will Kress, CEO and Chairman of Green Bay Packaging. “We basically built a brand new paper mill from the ground up.”

The company broke ground on the mill in August 2018 and is expecting a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per ton of paper produced.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary Missy Hughes was among the state and local leaders to speak at the ceremony. “It is incredibly important what’s happening here today, and the investment Green Bay Packaging has made in the state and recognizing the enduring part of that investing will help our future, will help our future students and help people thrive here in Wisconsin,” Hughes said.

More than three-million-man hours went into the construction of the mill.

“Over 89,000 tons of concrete have been poured, more than 34 miles of pipe were installed, and 12,000 tons of steel were erected,” said Green Bay Packaging Vice President Matt Szymanski. “This was a major, major undertaking for us. We did a great job, and a lot of folks did a lot of work and made a lot of sacrifices to make this happen.”

Kress said the company needed to build the mill to stay competitive and while they could have built elsewhere, he said it was important to remain in Green Bay.

“They chose Green Bay because they believe in this community, they believe in their employees and they wanted to expand here and invest here,” said Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich. “And in doing so they created 200 new jobs and preserved 1,100 more here in Northeast Wisconsin.”

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