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MWV to Improve Power Infrastructure at Covington Mill

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MeadWestvaco Corp., Richmond, Va., USA, will build a new, state-of-the-art biomass boiler and upgrade associated power infrastructure at its Covington, Va., mill. MWV notes that the $285 million investment positions the facility for profitable growth and will further its competitive advantage in providing high quality paperboard packaging for the global food, healthcare, and tobacco markets. The project allows the mill to become self-sufficient in electrical power and steam generation and significantly reduces ongoing operating and maintenance costs.

The new boiler and related 75 MW steam turbine generator system will replace two older and less efficient units. It will primarily burn renewable biomass such as tree bark, wood residues often left behind from logging operations, and wastewater residuals from the papermaking process. Using these renewable resources provides reliable, efficient, and lower-cost sources of fuel to produce steam and electricity for the mill.

MWV expects to secure the necessary permits to begin construction in the fourth quarter of this year. The company has worked closely with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and officials from Alleghany County and the City of Covington on this strategic investment that creates and secures jobs in the region. The project will take advantage of Federal, state, and local incentives. The investment will be financed through a combination of cash and borrowings. The new boiler and infrastructure upgrades are expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The Covington Mill is the world's largest solid bleached sulfate (SBS) mill. It produces approximately 900,000 tpy of SBS paperboard for many of the world's tobacco, food, healthcare and personal care brands, exporting nearly 50% of its production to international markets.


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