Environmental Protection

Neenah Paper Will Convert Waste into Steam Energy

Neenah Paper has contracted to convert wood and fiber waste into steam energy to power its largest fine paper mill, according to an Aug. 19 press release.

The Neenah Green: Change Comes from Within environmental campaign gave impetus to the development of broader mill-based solutions such as this state-of-the-art facility. Located at the company's Whiting Mill, the fossil fuel-free steam energy system will be built by Vision Power, a Florida-based independent energy services company, and is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2009.

Biomass is a sustainable resource consisting mainly of wood and fiber waste. The biomass energy project creates a closed loop system where the source of the steam energy is waste originally identified for landfill disposal as well as waste from the mill's own production processes and, as a result, the expectation is to emit zero net direct carbon dioxide at the mill.

"We are the leading premium paper company in North America, and with that comes a level of accountability that we have not only chosen to meet, but to exceed. Our Whiting Mill was an obvious choice for this project because it represents over half of Neenah's fine paper production," said John O'Donnell, president, Fine Paper. "Our commitment to the environment is based on real internal change such as investing in innovative, energy-efficient upgrades and manufacturing processes versus simply buying carbon credits. This project supports that strategy and complements existing initiatives already in place at our other manufacturing sites where we burn biomass and utilize local hydro, solar, and wind power."

The project will reduce the company's carbon footprint by approximately 42,000 tons annually—the equivalent of taking 8,408 average-sized cars off the road for one full year,* while also reducing energy costs at the Whiting Mill as a result of shutting down its current gas-fired boilers.

* Source: Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator

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