Paper company proposes biomass plant

By Lisa Gibson
Posted February 4, 2010, at 8:40 a.m. CST

Longview, Wash., might be the new home for a 65-megawatt biomass power plant that would run on 38,000 bone-dry tons of mill, forest and urban waste wood per month, according to Sarah Taydas, corporate communications manager for Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging, Inc., the company proposing the plant.

The plant would replace Longview Fibre's existing 25 MW wood-fueled power plant, which generates about 30 percent of electricity for the company's pulp and paper mill in Longview, Taydas said. She added that the company has not yet determined whether the new plant would serve only the mill, or if power could be sold and used in the community.

Project planning is in very early stages and plenty is yet to be determined. The company just recently filed paperwork with Washington's Department of Ecology seeking a permit. "We're anticipating that we'll be starting up in the third quarter of 2011," Taydas said.

Cost estimates top $100 million, but Longview Fibre is still identifying funding options, she said. The company is a manufacturer of craft paper, corrugated boxes and container board, with locations in Washington, California, Idaho and Utah.

The city of Longview has been a popular location for waste-wood biomass plant proposals. Vancouver-based Northwest Renewables LLC is planning a 24 MW power plant in the city's Mint Industrial Park, and Rappaport Energy Consulting Inc. will build an integrated biorefinery that will produce electricity as well as ethanol. Rappaport received a loan from the Washington State Department of Commerce for $1.5 million for its project, according to the department.