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Friday, August 26, 2011

Rothschild biomass plant construction to begin

From an article by Kathleen Foody in the Stevens Point Journal:

ROTHSCHILD -- Village residents and commuters on Business Highway 51 can expect traffic snarls as about 150 trucks hauling construction materials pour in and out of the Domtar paper mill today.

Rothschild Police Chief Dean Albrecht said Boldt Construction, the Appleton firm overseeing construction of a $255 million biomass power plant on Domtar's site, asked his department to help control traffic during today's work.

Officers will be at the intersection of Business Highway 51 and Weston Avenue from 5 a.m. until about 2 p.m. to help out, Albrecht said.

"We think traffic will go pretty smoothly; maybe some congestion during rush hour between 6 and 8 (a.m.)," he said.

We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said crews will spend today pouring the foundation for the large boiler that will burn material at the plant, requiring the procession of trucks carrying materials.

Manthey said the traffic will be spaced out, with two or three trucks carrying material from County Materials plant locations in Wausau, Weston and Merrill entering or exiting the construction site at a time.

Once complete, the plant will burn about 500,000 tons of the tops and limbs of trees to generate energy for sale by We Energies and steam for Domtar's paper-making process at the existing Rothschild mill. The plant is intended to help We Energies comply with state regulations requiring at least 8 percent of utilities' sales to come from renewable energy sources by 2015.

To qualify for federal tax credits, the facility must be operational by the end of 2013.

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