Australian corrugated packaging firm Pratt Industries has started construction work on a new $260m recycled paper mill in Valparaiso, Indiana.

The company plans to construct the 250,000ft² mill adjacent to its existing cardboard box plant. The company says that the mill will be eco-friendly and produce papers for sustainable lightweight packaging.

Pratt currently employs 280 workers at the cardboard box plant. The new plant will add another 137 jobs by 2018. The company will start hiring paper machine operators, equipment operators, electrical and instrumentation technicians, shipping representatives, shift supervisors, maintenance associates and waste yard personnel later this year.

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority will grant approximately $2.8m in incentives to Pratt, and up to $15m will be secured in energy and infrastructure incentives from NIPSCO.

In order to finance the construction of the 100% recycled paper mill, the company will also secure approximately $200m in tax-free industrial revenue bonds from the city.

Pratt Industries owner and chairman Anthony Pratt said that over 1,450 direct, indirect and induced jobs will be created during the mill construction. The plant is expected to open in July 2015.

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