Just two months after announcing plans to replace its 71-year-old Green Bay Paper Mill, leaders from Green Bay Packaging Inc. formally broke ground on constructing the first new paper mill in Wisconsin in more than 30 years.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, city of Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach joined the company to mark the beginning of the largest business development project in the history of Brown County, Wis.
“We are proud to officially begin construction of our new, state-of-the-art paper mill in the city where our company was founded over 85 years ago,” said Will Kress, Green Bay Packaging president and CEO, in a statement. “This new facility is the result of the continued hard work and success of our dedicated employees and loyal customers.”
The $500-plus million investment will have a profound impact on Northeast Wisconsin’s economy and the environment. “The new Green Bay Mill will preserve more than 1,100 Green Bay Packaging jobs across Brown County, position the company to grow its local workforce, significantly increase our production and product quality capabilities, and benefit the entire regional supply chain, all while operating as one of the most environmentally sustainable paper mills in the world,” said Matt Szymanski, vice president of mill operations, in a statement.
Green Bay Packaging stated it is also partnering with local companies to design and construct the facility and install its equipment.
Neenah-based Miron Construction has been selected as the general contractor to construct the new mill. The design and construction of the mill will create 1,000 additional construction jobs and require approximately 1.5 million labor hours, the company noted. Green Bay Packaging has also contracted with Voith, whose North American headquarters is in Appleton, Wis., to install a new paper machine showcasing cutting-edge technology and to serve as the single full line supplier for all corresponding papermaking equipment.
“The deep and talented workforce that Northeast Wisconsin offers across the skilled trades made it an easy decision to partner with local companies to construct this historic project,” said Bryan Hollenbach, executive vice president of Green Bay Packaging, in a statement. “Our goal throughout this process was to make the best decision for not only Green Bay Packaging but for Brown County and the entire State of Wisconsin. We wanted to make it clear that Green Bay Packaging is here to stay.”
The new Green Bay Mill is expected to be fully operational in spring 2021. The current mill will continue to operate at full capacity throughout the entire construction process, according to the company.