PCA’s building the greenest mill in the country –CEO

Malynda Fulton writes in the VDT that, according to its CEO Paul Stecko, Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) is building
…the greenest mill in the U.S. and possibly the least costly to operate. This mill will become the mill of the future instead of the mill from the past.
This is at the PCA plant in Clyattville.

View Larger Map

Why green?

Through the new boilers, PCA was able to eliminate the use of fossil fuel and run the boilers on renewable energy, Stecko explained.
In other words, it’s a biomass plant. The article doesn’t say whether the biomass is entirely materials that would otherwise have been discarded, nor how efficient it is.

The article does say:

Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority Executive Director Brad Lofton said this project is one of the largest investments in Lowndes County.

During the specialized construction phase of the project, approximately 300 construction workers will be hired, with a payroll of $75 to $100 million, said PCA’s Valdosta mill manager, David Carmon. This will generate an ancillary benefit of approximately $370,000 to the community, he said.

Incentives awarded by the industrial authority for this project include a turning lane on the road where the mill is located, two acres of paving and $250,000 in cash.

The project is expected to be complete within two years.

The story has legs, and was picked up elsewhere, auch as in TradingMarkets.com. Economically this is a welcome change from layoffs at the same plant of only a few years ago. Those layoffs are one reason the plant is inexpensive to operate. And note the jobs cited in the recent VDT article are entirely for the construction phase, not for ongoing operations. It’s understandable that the Industrial Authority is doing what it can to retain PCA. Perhaps it can also find new businesses that will bring ongoing jobs.

It also would be nice to know what sort of emissions the new boilers will produce, since everybody in the county will be breathing them. Maybe they’re lower than the former oil-burning emissions. If so, that would be very good news.