Port Townsend Paper in Washington proposes US$2M project to add new processing equipment that will strengthen pulp mechanically in order to cut costs and produce tougher paper, resulting in net increase in mill's annual paper production

LOS ANGELES , April 29, 2014 () – Port Townsend Paper Corp. proposes adding new processing equipment at its pulp and paper mill in Port Townsend, Washington, which will result in a net increase in its annual paper production, reported the Peninsula Daily News on April 24.

The US$2 million project includes adding refiners that would provide a cheaper way to help strengthen pulp produced at the mill, by using mechanical rather than chemical methods, said Port Townsend Paper President Roger Hagen.

The refiners would be installed by the end of this year and result in the mill increasing its production of high-grade paper by 3,450 tons/year while reducing by 2,225 tons/year its output of paper not meeting specifications.

The company submitted its plans to Washington’s Department of Ecology last December, and the state has set a hearing on the plan for May 20, while also extending the public comment period to May 23 from March 28, the Peninsula Daily News reported.

Air emissions would increase and more odor-causing pollutants like sulfur would be emitted by the addition of the refiners, but the emissions would remain below what Ecology allows under the mill’s existing operating permit.

Ecology earlier determined that the project, which would add the refiners for the mill’s PM No. 2, did not need federal or state permits as the environmental impacts would not be significant.

The mill’s emission control units have sufficient capacity to handle the additional emissions, according to Ecology’s review of the company’s proposal, reported the Peninsula Daily News.

Greenhouse gas emissions would increase by about 8,500 tons/year, well below the 75,000 tons/year that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers significant, according to Ecology.

Producing stronger paper by adding the refiners would allow the Port Townsend mill to produce paper that is more profitable, said Hagan, the Peninsula Daily News reported.

The Port Townsend Paper mill produces unbleached kraft pulp, lightweight linerboard, corrugating medium and unbleached converting grades, according to the company’s website.

The primary source of this article is the Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, Washington, on April 24, 2014. Click here to view full version of primary source's original article.

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