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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paper group backs proposed Rothschild biomass plant

From an article by Robert Imrie in the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune:

ROTHSCHILD -- The Wisconsin Paper Council announced Monday that it will support a planned $255 million wood-burning power plant at a Rothschild paper mill.

"We are happy to join in and give it a thumbs up," WPC Vice President Earl Gustafson said in a telephone interview from Appleton. "From what we have seen so far, it looks like a good plan."

The Paper Council, which represents 20 paper mills including Domtar and dozens of other suppliers of goods and services to the industry, has asked to participate in state regulatory proceedings on the project.

We Energies has applied to the state Public Service Commission to build Wisconsin's first biomass power plant on the grounds of the Domtar paper mill along Business Highway 51. A decision is expected by the end of the year, and neighbors of the mill are seeking to stop the project because of concerns about noise, traffic, aesthetics and pollution.

In seeking "intervener status" in the case, the Paper Council told the PSC that "supply and demand for wood fiber" used to make paper products could be affected if We Energies gets approval to build the plant.

Gustafson said Monday the plant's plan to burn only waste wood, including forest residue and wood shavings, should eliminate most of the Paper Council's concerns.

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