Conyers, Georgia based Pratt Industries, Inc. announced the official opening of its $700 million 100 percent recycled paper mill and corrugated box factory in Henderson, Kentucky.
Pratt bills it as the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly paper mill ever built that will save the equivalent of 25,000 trees every day.
“This is a very proud day for our company because this investment represents a major part of my recent pledge to the United States Ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, to invest $5 billion in recycling and clean energy infrastructure in the U.S. over the next 10 years,” said Pratt Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt.
“This will help reduce landfill, cut methane gas emissions, and create green collar American manufacturing jobs as championed by President Biden.”
Pratt now has assets invested in America to the value of $12 billion and has created 12,000 American green manufacturing jobs.
The Australian-born businessman was joined at the grand opening of the 1.1 million square foot factory by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, and the Australian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Kevin Rudd.
“I want to congratulate Pratt Industries on this newest milestone in Henderson,” Beshear said in a news release.
“The quality job opportunities for hundreds of Kentucky residents this project is bringing to the region is something to celebrate. Pratt Industries is a perfect fit for the Henderson community, and I want to thank Anthony Pratt and his team for their commitment to the commonwealth.”
Pratt said it was an honor to open the factory with Governor Beshear and Ambassadors Kennedy and Rudd.
“When we first met two years ago, I told Governor Beshear we were planning to make this investment in Ohio or Indiana, and that we needed adequate electricity and water to power the paper mill – and he moved mountains to make it happen in Kentucky – so we’re opening this mill today because of Governor Beshear’s leadership.
“He’s the greatest governor in these United States of America,” said Pratt.
“I congratulate him for his laser focus on job creation — this factory will employ 325 Kentuckians in well-paying, green-collar, manufacturing jobs at an average wage of around $100,000 per person and takes Pratt Industries’ workforce to over 12,000 Americans in 72 factories spread across more than 25 states, making it the largest Australian employer of Americans.”
The company has also built six of the last eight paper mills in America – all producing only 100 percent recycled paper.
The new paper machine in Henderson, more than twice the length of a football field, will produce 1,500 tons of 100 percent recycled paper every day. It will then be made into corrugated boxes at Pratt’s converting plants across the country .
“We are transforming America’s recycling and manufacturing sectors through these initiatives,” said Pratt.
“We’re actually in the landfill avoidance business which is good for greenhouse gas reduction as well because as things decay in the landfill, they produce methane gas which is 84 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide.”
More than 700 guests attended the opening including Lonnie Ali, Muhammad Ali’s widow and the co-founder of the Ali Center in Louisville, and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America.