Longview Fibre upgrades existing biomass plant

By Lisa Gibson | June 13, 2011

Instead of building the 65-megawatt biomass power plant it proposed in 2010, Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Inc. in Longview, Wash., will upgrade its existing 25 MW biomass plant.

“Our modernization project is to upgrade the mill’s infrastructure,” said Sarah Taydas, communications and public affairs director for Longview Fibre. “This project includes upgrades that will increase efficiency, reduce emissions and capture many of the best attributes of the originally announced project.”

The initial proposal for a completely new plant outlined a $100 million facility that would run on 38,000 bone-dry tons of mill, forest and urban waste wood per month, replacing the existing plant that provides up to 30 percent of the mill’s electricity.

The mill has used biomass in its processes since the company was founded, Taydas said. “Our mill in Longview, Wash., is one of the largest pulp and paper mills in North America. The waste from a number of other processes is the raw material we use for our pulp and paper mill. In fact, we founded our business on, and were an early pioneer in, using residual wood chips from sawmills as the primary source for pulp to produce our paper and liner board.” Nearly 90 percent of the energy used at the mill comes from renewable sources, according to Taydas.

The upgrade is expected to begin this month and the facility should be operational in 2013. It will not increase the amount of biomass burned at the mill, instead increasing efficiency while reducing both biomass and fossil fuels, Taydas said.

“In short, modernizing the mill would help the company grow while further reducing our environmental footprint,” Taydas said.