Graphic Packaging seeks to modify state air permit to replace two coal boilers at its paperboard mill in Macon, Georgia, with wood-waste, natural-gas boilers in move to slash sulfur dioxide emissions by 40%

LOS ANGELES , September 15, 2011 () – Graphic Packaging International Inc. proposes to eliminate two coal-burning boilers at its coated unbleached kraft paperboard mill in Macon, Georgia, in a move aimed at slashing its sulfur dioxide emissions by 40%, said the state Environmental Protection Division (EPD), The Telegraph reported Sept. 15.

The mill looks to modify its air permit so it could retire the two 1940s boilers, said operations manager Marion Bard, The Telegraph reported.

A wood-waste biomass boiler would replace one boiler right away and the other would switch to natural gas, mill manager Greg Hanson said.

EPD manager of the air stationary source permitting program, Eric Cornwell, said the switch would remove “a huge chunk” of sulfur dioxide from Bibb County, The Telegraph reported.

EPD has scheduled a hearing and public information session on the proposal for Sept. 20, according to the article carried in

However, the proposed change could boost other emissions from the mill, which seeks a permit to allow carbon monoxide emissions to rise about 30% to 460 tons annually. Pollution is also forecast to rise 5% for fine particles, 3% for nitrogen oxide and 6% for volatile organic compounds.

Graphic Packaging plans to invest US$140 million in expanding the facility, including the biomass boiler and a 40-megawatt turbine generator, according to an earlier report in The Telegraph on June 6.

The mill produces about 1,600 tons/day of coated unbleached kraft paperboard, Forestweb reported June 7.

Graphic Packaging International is a subsidiary of Marietta, Georgia-based Graphic Packaging Holding Co., which owns seven paperboard mills, 44 converting plants and other operations worldwide, according to its website.

The primary source of this article is The Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, on Sept. 15, 2011.

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