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Verso Paper upgrades pulp and paper mill

Verso Paper has finished the construction of a $45 million (€35.5 million) renewable energy upgrade at its pulp and paper mill in Michigan, US.

The company has upgraded the existing combination boiler which burns woody biomass, and built a new biomass handling system and a turbine generator.

The energy generated will be used within the mill, and is the equivalent to powering about 18,000 homes each year, or 28MW.

The boiler runs on carbon-neutral, wood-based biofuel that is used to generate about 95% of the electricity on the site.

The biomass handling system can take wood such as tree tops, limbs and bark and will produce black liquor as a byproduct.

‘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,’ says Verso VP of energy and technology, Mark Daniel.

Construction on the project began in October 2010 and was completed at the beginning of January 2012.