Canadian Manufacturing

Weyerhaeuser and partners invest $60M in US paper plant

Wondering how clean technology can give your company a competitive edge? Check out the latest news from Weyerhaeuser Co., which just announced an update on its $60-million joint energy conservation project.

The investment—partially funded by local utilities and power administrators—is expected to reduce energy by six percent, or 100 million kilowatt hours of electricity, while saving millions of dollars per year at its Washington State Norpac (North Pacific Paper Corp.) plant, according to the company. Norpac is jointly owned by Weyerhaeuser and Nippon Paper Industries.

The project involves two clean technology innovations. The first is the investment in chip pre-treatment equipment, which treats wood chips with steam and chemicals prior to refining them into pulp. The system is cutting bleaching costs while allowing Norpac to produce a brighter paper.

The second involves a new screening process. Prior to the change, wood chips were ground through two stages of refining, driven by electric motors requiring thousands of horsepower. The new inter-stage screening system allows paper-ready fibers to bypass the second stage of refining, resulting in significant electrical energy savings, the company reported.

“Norpac’s energy-efficiency project will allow this mill to remain competitive in an increasingly challenging global economic market by significantly reducing the mill’s energy costs and decreasing its environmental impact through reduction of energy consumption and chemical use,” said Dan Fulton, president and CEO of Weyerhaeuser.

View the full release here

Susan Sheehan is president of Leapfrog Sustainability Inc., a consortium of industry experts focused on energy, water and waste savings, along with new revenue and product opportunities. Reach them at: (416) 479-4266; Contact Susan at

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