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Verso Launches Renewable Energy Project at Quinnesec

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Verso Paper Corp., Memphis, Tenn., USA, this week announced the launch of a $43 million Renewable Energy Project that will position its mill in Quinnesec, Mich., to meet more than 95% of its energy needs using renewable biomass sources. "The implementation of the Quinnesec Renewable Energy Project is in alignment with Verso's three-pronged energy strategy, which is to reduce overall energy consumption, generate more green energy from renewable biomass, and reduce our carbon footprint, all while reducing costs," said Mike Jackson, Verso's president and CEO.

"Expanding the capacity to generate electricity from biomass is one of the ways in which the State of Michigan is increasing our leadership in clean energy technology," said Governor Jennifer Granholm. "Clean energy projects supported by the state are leading America's drive to energy independence with bold initiatives to develop energy technologies and new fuels from renewable resources."

Mike Sussman, Quinnesec mill manager, added that "Verso is fortunate to have active partners in the Michigan Governor's Office, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Dickinson County, and Breitung Township, who are working diligently to help make our Renewable Energy Project a reality." A direct result of the state-wide partnership is the designation of a Forest Products Processing Renaissance Zone, which allows a company within the zone to operate free of virtually all state and local taxes over the life of the designation.

The Project scope includes design upgrades to the Quinnesec Mill's existing combination boiler, which burns biomass from waste wood sources, the addition of a new biomass handling system, and the installation of a new turbine generator supplied by Siemens. Verso is partnering with AMEC Engineering to begin detailed design for the Project, which is estimated to startup by December 2011. In celebration of the Project kickoff, Verso hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony this past Monday, June 28.


EKA Chemicals Inc.