Verso Paper Corp. has completed a $45 million biomass renewable energy project at its pulp and paper mill in Quinnesec, Mich.
The Memphis, Tenn.-based Verso said in a news release the project upgrades the Quinnesec mill’s existing combination boiler, which burns biomass from waste wood materials. It also features a new biomass handling system and a new turbine generator. The project generates 28 megawatts of additional energy for mill consumption, or the equivalent of electricity for 18,000 homes a year.
The boiler upgrades enable the mill to use wood-based biofuel for more than 95 percent of its on-site electricity generation. The new biomass handling system expands the mill's capabilities for processing residual wood such as tree tops, limbs and bark. The mill's boilers also will continue to burn black liquor, a byproduct of the wood pulping process.
"In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, these improvements will improve boiler combustion and efficiency and will markedly reduce the mill's reliance on electricity produced from fossil fuels," said Mark Daniel, Verso vice president of energy and technology.