Business and Economics

Pratt Paper Turns New Page at Valparaiso

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September 18, 2013 — Pratt Paper, LLC, known as Pratt Industries in Porter County, says it plans to locate a new recycling facility in Valparaiso, creating up to 137 new jobs by 2018.

The Conyers, Georgia-headquartered company says it will invest $260-million to build a new 100%-recycled paper facility next to its existing box-making plant in Valparaiso.  It says the 250,000-square-foot project will be completed by July 2015 on a 50-acre site that will include a wastewater pre-treatment facility and road improvements, “When it reaches its full capacity, the new mill will produce an increased 360,000 tons of recycled paper each year.”

Indiana Governor Mike Pence said, “Companies with existing Indiana operations can speak from experience about the advantages of operating in the Hoosier State.  After conducting a nationwide search for the location of its new paper mill, Pratt decided to expand its Indiana facility because they knew our workforce is up to the task.  With the pro-growth business environment we’ve worked hard to create, companies can expand here with confidence, knowing that Indiana is a state that works.”

Pratt says its employs more than 320 associates in Valparaiso, with plans to begin hiring more staff  late next year.

Pratt owner and chairman Anthony Pratt, said”This new recycling facility will allow us to better service the needs of our expanding customer base not only in the Midwest, but throughout the United States.  And Indiana is a perfect fit for us. We’ve been a part of the business community here for many years now and we know there is a skilled, reliable workforce available to us. It’s also gratifying to work with such dedicated public officials who realize the importance of attracting well-paying manufacturing jobs to the state.”

Pratt describes itself as “the world’s largest privately held company to produce all of its paper and packaging from 100 percent recycled products, saving the equivalent of more than 50,000 trees each day. The company produces 1.15 million tons of recycled paper annually, most of which is used to produce packaging for various market sectors including industrial, food and beverage, electronics, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. When it reaches full capacity, the new facility will produce an increased 360,000 tons of recycled paper each year.”

Pratt says the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered it up to $1.2-million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.  These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.  The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority will support the project through its Deal Closing Fund.  NIPSCO has also offered the company $15-million in additional energy and infrastructure incentives as part of its continued efforts to support local economic development.  The city of Valparaiso will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission.

Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas said, “Pratt’s decision to build an expansive paper recycling plant is, we believe, the single largest private taxpaying investment in the history of the city of Valparaiso, and brings profound benefits to our community.  This level of investment will have positive residual benefits that will continue to expand our regional economy. It has been a real pleasure working alongside Pratt executives to pave the way for this expansion and it is clear to us why they have become the world’s largest privately-held 100 percent recycled paper and packaging company.”


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