The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has approved an inducement resolution of up to $125 million in private activity bonds to partially finance a $200 million project by Green Box NA, De Pere, Wisconsin, which is slated to build two recycling-related facilities in Detroit and Cheboygan, Michigan.
The Green Box project is one of the three projects the MSF has approved. Combined, the three economic development projects are expected to generate $350 million in new investments in the state.
When operational, Green Box NA plans to take in commercial material, primarily scrap paper from the restaurant industry in and around Detroit, and preprocess it at its new facility in Detroit. The material will be transferred in the form of bales and pellets to Cheboygan for final processing into tissue and other finished products.
The Cheboygan facility, at the site of the former Great Lakes Tissue Co. mill, will produce bath, facial, napkin and towel tissue products as well as of biofuels, fuel pellets and soil amendment products. The two facilities are expected to create 331 jobs total.
Also included will be the generation of 12 megawatts of electricity; 48,000 gallons per day of biofuels, diesel and oil; and 38 tons of soil amendments (carbon and fertilizer) per day. The biofuels, including fuel pellets, will be sold to Colonial Oil, headquartered in Savannah, Georgia. The diesel and oil will be sold to Davis Oil, headquartered in Perry, Georgia, and soil amendment products will be sold to The Mosaic Co. of Plymouth, Minnesota.
In 2011 the MSF induced $3.2 million in bonds for Green Box NA Detroit LLC related specifically to a facility in Romulus, Michigan. The company experienced construction-related challenges associated with the airport and elected to move the preprocessing project to Detroit. In 2013, the MSF extended Romulus/Detroit Project’s inducement. The company says it anticipates being able to authorize bonds for the Romulus/Detroit Project in the next 90 to 120 days. The expiration date for the inducement resolution is Dec. 31, 2015.
The current request to create $125 million in tax exempt bonds is separate from the Romulus/Detroit Project’s inducement and will be 100 percent for the acquisition, renovation, equipping and installation of project-related assets (and associated eligible costs) at the Cheboygan facility.
Additionally, part of the proceeds will be used to acquire the assets of Great Lakes Tissue, the existing paper mill in Cheboygan.
The company says it anticipates the completion of the bond transaction upon authorization within four months. For the Cheboygan facility, Green Box says it anticipates engineering, equipment procurement, delivery and building/installations will take 16 months. The Detroit facility will be operational within three to six months of the issuance of the bonds, Green Box says.
“Today’s projects will help strengthen and revitalize these Michigan communities and help growing companies generate new job opportunities,” says Michael Finney, president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC). “We should all applaud these investments in Michigan’s future.”
Green Box is a part of Wisconsin-based Environmentally Advanced Reclamation Technology HQ LLC. The company has what it calls "a suite of processes and technologies" that, along with exclusive license rights to a fiber additive developed by Cargill Inc., allows it to convert a variety of high-volume consumer and commercial material streams into pulp and paper byproducts, fuel, soil amendments (fertilizer) and electricity.