Liberty Paper's recycled-content paperboard mill in Becker, Minnesota, invests in water pretreatment plant with biogas generator that will capture enough methane gas to power the mill; US$15M plant to be operating by year-end

LOS ANGELES , March 21, 2012 () –

Liberty Paper Inc. expects to be able to power its recycled-content paperboard mill in Becker, Minnesota, with methane gas recovered in a new water pretreatment plant that is to start up by this year-end, reported the Star Tribune on March 20.

The US$15-million water pretreatment plant with a biogas generator will process the 550,000 gallons of water the mill uses daily in its papermaking operation, which is fed with more than 250,000 tons of old corrugated containers a year.

The plant, which is located at the mill site, will process the water before it is sent to the city’s industrial wastewater treatment plant, easing the burden on that municipal facility, said Sherburne County Administrator Brian Bensen, the Star Tribune reported.

The project was led by Liberty Paper but included other public and private investors, such as the St. Paul Port Authority, Excel Energy Inc., Sherburne County, the city of Becker, and the Initiative Foundation, which is a regional job creation and economic development agency.

The public-private initiative is not the first involving Liberty Paper. Before the mill was built in Becker in 1995, the city built a water treatment plant to process the mill’s wastewater, reported the Star Tribune.

While the new wastewater pre-treatment plant is not the first to use anaerobic digestion, its size and financial backing could help drive others to invest in processes that convert waste to power, said Peter Klein, VP of finance with the St. Paul Port Authority.

Liberty Paper is a branch of Liberty Diversified International, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reported.

The primary source of this article is the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 20, 2012.


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