Port of Green Bay receives $500,000 expansion grant
Brown County received a $500,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to assist in purchasing the former WPS Pulliam Plant property as part of the effort to relocate coal piles away from downtown and expand the economic activity of the Port of Green Bay.
WEDC will provide Brown County with an Idle Sites Redevelopment grant to partially fund the purchase of the 40-acre parcel at the mouth of the Fox River. The property is considered key to efforts by the county and the City of Green Bay to redevelop not only the port, turning the Pulliam Plant site into a port-related industrial property, but portions of downtown Green Bay.
The Pulliam Plant property has been identified as the most critical parcel for the port expansion project. The port is a designated Foreign Trade Zone, and this strategy includes expanding the port activities, which will result in increased economic activity and jobs in Green Bay and the northeast region.
Georgia-Pacific stops coal use at Broadway mill, switches to gas
After using coal for more than 100 years, Georgia-Pacific shut down the last coal-fired boiler at its Green Bay Broadway mill in late December. This follows the installation earlier in 2020 of a second natural gas boiler at the facility, which became fully operational in September.
GP invested nearly $27 million to purchase and install the boiler, which produces steam for process use and power generation at the mill. The mill’s first natural gas boiler was installed in 2015, which replaced the facility’s largest coal-fired boiler, helping the mill reduce air emissions, meet future regulations and modernize its assets.
Before the natural gas boilers were installed at the facility, it historically used approximately 234,000 tons of coal and 110,000 tons of petroleum coke each year. Any coal remaining after the coal-fired boiler is shut down will be sold.
After the first natural gas boiler started up in late 2015, the mill’s emissions of sulfur dioxide dropped by nearly 80 percent and nitrous oxide dropped by 67 percent compared to 2013 levels.
Over the next two years, GP also is scheduled to spend more than $14 million to take down and remove coal-handling systems, coal boilers and other obsolete equipment and buildings. The most visible change was the 2019 removal of one of the mill’s two 400-foot-tall stacks, which has changed the silhouette of the property. The second stack is scheduled to be removed this year.
Oshkosh Corp. acquires Michigan engineering specialist firm
Oshkosh Corp. acquired Pratt Miller, which specializes in advanced engineering, technology and innovation across the motorsport and multiple ground vehicle markets, for a cash-free, debt-free purchase price of $115 million. Pratt Miller will maintain its name, team members, facilities and branding elements.
Founded in 1989 and headquartered in New Hudson, Mich., Pratt Miller delivers an engineering and motorsports heritage and has made significant advances in growth areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous and connected systems, and electrification. The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Dura-Fibre making paperboard sleeves for vaccine shipments
Dura-Fibre, a Menasha-based paperboard manufacturer, was selected to provide specialty laminated paperboard sleeves and inserts for some of the U.S. novel coronavirus vaccines during shipment.
The company’s multi-ply laminated and die-cut sleeve is part of a sophisticated packaging and cold chain distribution system aimed at providing critical temperature control for shipping the vaccines. The rigid paperboard component, made in the Menasha facility, also is entirely recyclable.
Crane Engineering further expands Minnesota footprint
Crane Engineering finalized the acquisition of Rapids Process Equipment, a company providing service and repair primarily to the pulp and paper industry in northern Minnesota.
The deal adds a fourth location for Kimberly-based Crane Engineering and further supports its expansion into Minnesota. Crane Engineering added a service center in Burnsville, Minn., in September. Crane Engineering will retain all team members at the Grand Rapids location.
GKM Wisconsin awards platform to Midwest Carriers
GKM Wisconsin has named Kaukauna-based Midwest Carriers the Chief Operations Control Execution Manager for its GKM WI TEU Circuitous Platform. Midwest Carriers’ 350,000-square-foot international import/export TEU processing complex in Joliet, Ill., will serve as chief operations center for Wisconsin businesses in need of an intermodal supply chain solution.
The Wisconsin Platform addresses manufacturing and distribution companies’ concerns about container turns and drayage shortages. In addition, the platform stabilizes flows, helps clients manage costs and increases supply chain efficiencies for companies using Chicago, the world’s largest inland port.
The ability to send and receive materials from the Chicago region via interstate highways has long been a concern to Wisconsin’s manufacturers and distributors. Electronic Logging Device regulations, driver shortages and excessive wait times have made finding a solution to import/export concerns difficult for shippers.
New North Summit offers content before June event
For safety reasons surrounding the ongoing pandemic, New North, Inc. has rescheduled the New North Summit to June 10 at Lambeau Field. This change also will allow New North to offer three virtual events leading up to the in-person “Playbook for Recovery” event.
The lineup includes virtual events March 11, April 14 and May 12, with the summit taking place in person from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on June 10. With your registration, you will automatically be registered for all four events, with the option of declining any that may not fit your calendar.
The June 10 event will feature Green Bay Packers organization updates, presentations from regional leaders, business, education and talent videos that highlight regional best practices, presentation of the Workplace Excellence Award and a keynote from Tim Moore, CEO of Diamond View Studios.
Visit newnorthsummit.com to register and for more details on the complete lineup of events.
Virtual Manufacturing Matters conference slated for February
“Adapt & Advance” is the theme of Manufacturing Matters! 2021, which will take place Feb. 25. This year’s conference will share insights into how organizations and individuals can overcome challenges and turn disruptions into opportunities for growth.
The morning keynote will feature Mike Evans, an award-winning author/speaker who has worked with 31 Fortune 50 companies. Evans served in executive leadership and consulting roles with Kotter International, FranklinCovey,
and Tom Peters Co. and is an expert on the topic of disruption. He will speak to how companies can thrive in the new world of work.
The afternoon keynote speaker, Jim Davidson, is a New York Times best-selling author of “The Ledge: An Inspirational Story of Friendship and Survival.” He was featured on the Discovery Channel TV show “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” and will share stories, lessons and techniques for overcoming adversity and reaching goals.
For more information on the event and to register, visit wmep.org/events/manufacturing-matters-conference.