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AMEC Awarded US$93 Million Energy Efficiency Project

AMEC AMEC has been awarded a US$93 million contract by Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) for energy efficiency upgrades at its linerboard mill in Valdosta, Georgia that will reduce energy consumption and electricity costs.

Work is currently underway on the project and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. Upon completion, the Valdosta mill will burn only internally generated wood waste and black liquor in its boilers and will self-generate nearly 100 percent of its electricity requirements.

AMEC will be providing engineering, procurement and construction services for the recovery power modernization project, which includes a new recovery boiler, turbine generator and evaporator upgrades. The new equipment is deemed pollution-control, and a large percentage of it produces self-sustained, green energy.

Tim Gelbar, President of AMEC's Power and Process Americas business said: "We are delighted that PCA has entrusted us with the delivery of this important project and look forward to helping PCA reduce fossil fuel consumption by replacing purchased power with self-sustained, green energy."

This project will have a positive impact on the Valdosta Mill and the surrounding communities. During the specialised construction phase of the project, approximately 400 workers will be hired and more than 300 jobs at the mill will be preserved.

PCA is the fifth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging products in the United States with sales of $2.4 billion in 2008. PCA operates four paper mills and 68 corrugated products plants in 26 states across the country. PCA's Valdosta mill has one linerboard machine and produces about 457M tons of 100% virgin, high quality linerboard annually.

Black liquor is a byproduct of the kraft process and contains more than half of the energy content of the wood fed into the digester. Paper mills have used black liquor as an energy source for decades. Most kraft pulp mills use recovery boilers to recover and burn much of the black liquor they produce.This has helped paper mills become nearly energy self-sufficient by producing much of their own electricity needs on-site.

In the United States, paper companies have consumed nearly all of the black liquor they produce since the 1990's. As a result, the forest products industry has become one the United States' leading generators of carbon-neutral renewable energy, producing approximately 28.5 million megawatt hours of electricity annually - more than the solar, wind and geothermal industries combined.

Published 16/11/09

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