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Thursday, December 31, 2009

NewPage eyes biofuel site in Wisconsin Rapids

From an article in the Stevens Point Journal:

WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Papermaker NewPage continues to study the feasibility of building a small-scale biorefinery in Wisconsin Rapids.

Despite previous projections they would finish the study by the end of 2009, NewPage Corp. still is examining whether the project should move forward, spokeswoman Shannon Semmerling said.

"Feasibility studies take time to conduct," she said. Semmerling did not comment further on the project, saying there was no new information to share.

In January 2008, the Miamisburg, Ohio-based company garnered a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a small-scale biorefinery in Wisconsin Rapids. Stora Enso North America originally submitted the request for federal money, which NewPage inherited when it bought the former Wisconsin Rapids-based company in December 2007 for $2.6 billion.

Since then, company leaders have been studying the project's feasibility; once that is complete, the company has said it will work with the Energy Department to determine how to proceed.

The proposed refinery would produce 370 barrels of renewable diesel fuel a day — about 5.5 million gallons a year — from mill residue and wood chips. To get the grant, the project must be completed by 2012, according to the Energy Department.

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