(WEHT) – Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman joined executives from Pratt Paper LLC and Henderson Economic Development on Thursday to announce the company’s new $400 million paper mill, a project committed to creating 321 jobs over the next five years.

Pratt’s investment is the largest investment in this region of Kentucky in more than 25 years, stands as the largest in the state in nearly two years and is the third largest job-creation announcement of 2021. Gov. Beshear says that this project is incredible and will help Kentucky rebuild its economy after the pandemic.

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 450,000-square-foot paper mill that will manufacture 100% recycled products.

The new mill and corrugator facility will be built just off of Highway 425. The estimated economic investment and new jobs planned are being called one of the biggest announcements in the past 25 years for western Kentucky.

In a field with numbers from a driving range on Highway 425, people in this tent focused on different numbers.

“Pratt Paper, LLC, a division of Pratt Industries today, is announcing a $400 million investment in Henderson, Kentucky,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

The multi-million dollar investment involves building a 450,000 square foot paper mill, plus a 700,000 square foot corrugator plant to make boxes and other packaging materials from recycled paper.

“The jobs alone, and their pay, and what they’re going to bring to this area, is critical. But it is just as important as what this kind of investment says about this community and the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear.

Construction is expected to add another 700 jobs. Missy Vanderpool of Henderson Economic Development says those numbers will add up across the local economy.

“Pratt Industries will have an economic impact on our community of over $120 million dollars a year,” she said. “That means money is invested in our local banks, it’s being spent in our local restaurants and local shops that have suffered over the past 15 months.”

Pratt Industries Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt says it will be the most advanced, environmentally friendly paper mill, and can potentially save a large number of trees.

“The Henderson mill, which will be the most technologically advanced in the world, will produce more than 1,500 tons of recycled paper every day, saving the equivalent of over 25,000 or two football fields, every 24 hours,” he said.

Construction is expected to start early next year. The mill is expected to be built by 2023 while the corrugator facility is set to be done by 2026.

(This story was originally published on July 29, 2021)