Graphic Packaging To Expand Use of Biomass Energy
MARIETTA, Ga.—Graphic Packaging International, Inc., a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company, recently announced plans to expand utilization of biomass energy in its paperboard mill located in Macon, Georgia. Detailed engineering studies and permitting are in progress. Presently biomass energy generates more than 90 percent of the mill’s process steam and 60 percent of its electric power.
The project will take several years to complete, making the Macon mill self-sufficient from an electrical power and steam generation standpoint. Biomass energy will help stabilize and reduce energy costs and dependency on fossil fuel-based alternatives.
Expected project benefits:
• Will provide energy from a sustainable fiber and energy resource and is carbon neutral, utilizing unused waste from logging operations. Using biomass instead of coal reduces emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide (greenhouse gasses).
• Will generate approximately 38 megawatts of power annually or enough electrical power to support 26,000 homes per year.
• Will reduce greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) by over 340,000 tons/year due to reduction of utility load—about the same as removing almost 59,000 passenger cars from the road.
• Will reduce greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) by over 50,000 tons/year due to idling of a coal-fired boiler—about the same as removing almost 9,000 passenger cars from the road.
• Will improve air quality with modern combustion and emissions controls.
• Will reduce Georgia’s dependence on fossil fuels (primarily coal).
• Will contribute to the sustainability of the Macon mill.
“Our mission, to provide packaging that improves the world in which we live, is achieved by engaging in activities that are environmentally responsible, promote stewardship of our natural resources, and produce products that add value to our lives,” said David Scheible, President and CEO. “This biomass project is another reflection of our commitment to protect our environment through sustainable manufacturing practices—forest management, efficient manufacturing, energy generation and conservation, and fiber recovery and recycling.”