Green Bay Packaging’s recycled paper mill in Brown County, Wisconsin, US, was the first new paper mill to be set up in the state in more than 30 years.
The Green Bay region was selected as the location for the construction of the paper mill due to the favourable business climate and skilled workforce.
Announced in June 2018, the project was built with an investment of more than $500m. The project also includes a $25m investment towards the expansion of Green Bay’s shipping container division.
Construction of the new paper mill, which produces packaging paper, began in August 2018. While initial production began in March 2021, the new paper mill was inaugurated in June 2021 and is expected to double Green Bay’s manufacturing capabilities.
The project is expected to generate approximately 200 direct jobs and 135 indirect jobs in Wisconsin.
Green Bay Packaging’s new recycled paper mill facility details
Green Bay Packaging’s new recycled paper mill replaced the 71-year-old recycled paper machine in Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin. The unit was built in 1947 and has been rebuilt three times before being closed.
The paper mill features an old corrugated containers (OCC) plant, a bio-digester and an automated dense roll storage distribution facility. It is capable of producing environment-friendly and high-quality packaging products.
Voith was selected to supply the complete production line for the facility. The paper mill is installed with a 300in (7.62m)-wide paper production line for the production of recycled testliner. It also features a VariFlex Performance winder, an effluent treatment plant, BlueLine stock preparation, wet end process (WEP), paper machine clothing, and Papermaking 4.0 products.
The facility is equipped with a high-performance XcelLine paper machine, which is designed to operate at a speed of 3,940ft/min (1,200m/min). The new PM4 production line has a wire width of 331in (8,400mm). The plant is dedicated to the production of testliner at basis weights between 88g/m² and 273g/m².
Sustainable features of Green Bay’s new paper mill
The facility is designed to release lesser greenhouse gas emissions compared to the old plant.
The old coal burners of the paper machine were replaced with modern gas boilers. The new paper mill also uses recycled water instead of freshwater thereby eliminating the discharge of waste into natural waterways.
A circular reclaimed water system at the mill became operational in November 2021 that enables zero direct discharge of water to the Fox River. The wastewater is discharged into Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District for treatment, following which it is returned to the company through an underground pipe system for reuse.
Financing for Green Bay Packaging’s paper mill
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) agreed to provide $60m in state income tax credits over 12 years to Green Bay towards the development of the project, in August 2018.
The tax credits are contingent upon the creation and retention of jobs by Green Bay and the total amount of investment made by the company through 2029.
Miron Construction, a construction services firm based in the US, was appointed as the lead contractor for the design, engineering, and construction of the paper mill.
US-based engineering construction services provider, KSH Solutions, was subcontracted by Miron to provide detailed engineering, procurement, and field engineering services.
US-based paper and packaging machinery provider, Voith Paper, was awarded a contract to supply and install the production line at the new facility. The contractual scope also includes the provision of total roll management services for several machines for a period of seven years.
Voith’s subsidiary MERI Environmental Solutions was also involved in equipment installation at the paper mill site.
Green Bay Packaging’s paper mill benefits
The construction of Green Bay’s new recycled paper mill is expected to strengthen the papermaking industry in Wisconsin and generate several direct and indirect jobs in the region.
The project is also expected to have an economic impact of $257m in the Green Bay region. It generated $10m in tax revenue for the state during the construction phase.