Washington paper mill to install biomass boiler

By Lisa Gibson | October 07, 2010

Nippon Paper Industries USA in Port Angeles, Wash., will replace its existing biomass/oil boiler with a more efficient biomass boiler that will supply steam for the paper mill and 20 megawatts of power for the local grid.

The mill has a $71 million budget for the project and plans to apply for federal funding after completing the permitting process, according to mill manager Harold Norlund. The old boiler will not be demolished, but might instead be used as a backup, pending permitting.

The wood fuel for the boiler will continue to be residuals from local forestry operations, although more will be needed. Nippon does not own any land, but is surrounded by state Department of Natural Resources land, along with private timber operations. Norlund said the company anticipates securing a supply within a 75-mile radius including two local sawmills.

The company hopes to begin construction this fall and implement the system in mid-2012. “We’re actually considering selling 100 percent of the electricity to the grid,” Norlund said. “Some public utility districts are looking for renewable energy that fits their portfolios.”