HENDERSON, Ky. — Pratt Paper LLC today announced the company will build a new $400 million paper mill in Henderson, a project committed to creating 321 well-paying jobs over the next five years.
Pratt’s investment is the largest in this region of Kentucky in more than 25 years, the largest in the state in nearly two years, and is the third-largest job-creation announcement of 2021. The project further propels Kentucky’s recent wave of economic growth toward a sustainable future with quality job opportunities for residents across the state.
Pratt plans to build two facilities totaling 1.15 million s.f. along Kentucky Highway 425 in Henderson County. The company’s initial investment will support the construction of a state-of-the-art, 450,000-s.f. paper mill that will manufacture 100% recycled products.
In the future, company leaders expect to make additional investment to construct a 700,000-s.f. corrugator plant to produce corrugated sheets and boxes, including pizza boxes and packaging for major distributors and big box stores, using paper sourced from the new paper mill.
Pratt leadership anticipates construction of the 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 employ approximately 200 people once fully operational. Company leaders also expect the project to contribute to 700 construction jobs over the coming years.
The new location builds on Pratt’s existing presence in the commonwealth, which includes a Pratt Display manufacturing plant established in Hebron in 2011 that employs over 200 Kentuckians.
A division of Conyers, Ga.-based Pratt Industries Inc., Pratt Paper produces lightweight, high-strength containerboard and corrugated board sourced from 100% 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.
Pratt’s new operation will support Kentucky’s thriving logistics and distribution industry, which employs nearly 80,000 people at 590 facilities statewide. 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.
The Henderson site selected by Pratt represents a success for Kentucky’s Product Development Initiative. The site was among those to receive funding during the PDI program’s first round in 2019. PDI was established through a partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development to provide competitive grants to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments to supplement site and building improvement projects.
PDI aims to create jobs and corporate investment by enhancing the quality and quantity of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings. As well, it encourages collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders to help new and expanding businesses quickly find suitable locations in Kentucky.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company 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). KEIA 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.
In addition, Pratt can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training, and job training incentives.
For more information on Pratt Industries, visit PrattIndustries.com.
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