NORPAC, BPA partner on northwest energy-efficiency project
Executives from Weyerhaeuser, Nippon Paper Industries, Cowlitz County Public Utility District, and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) recently gathered at the North Pacific Paper Corp. (NORPAC) facility to celebrate the largest industrial energy efficiency project in BPA history and one of the largest energy efficiency projects in the United States to date.
Upon completion, the project is expected to save 100,000,000 kilowatt-hours per year; this will save enough energy to serve about 8,000 Northwest homes.
The first phase of the project was completed in June 2011, and the second — and final phase — is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013.
The project, referred to as a “Chip Pre-Treatment Interstage Screen Project,” adds two new components to the NORPAC facility. The first change is the addition of the chip pre-treatment equipment, which treats wood chips with steam and chemicals prior to refining the chips into pulp, resulting in reduced pulp bleaching and brightening costs. The second feature is the inter-stage screening. Previously, wood chips were ground through two stages of refining. These refining machines are driven by numerous electric motors that require thousands of connected horsepower. The inter-stage screening process allows paper-ready fibers (wood fibers that do not require additional refining) to bypass the second stage of refining, resulting in electrical energy savings.
“Energy efficiency is the first-choice, least-cost alternative for meeting increasing demand for electricity in the Pacific Northwest,” said BPA administrator Steve Wright. “This project serves to meet our twin goals of promoting a healthy economy and a healthy environment in the Northwest.”
NORPAC purchases power for its industrial operation through Cowlitz County PUD. Working through Cowlitz, BPA will fund installation of screening equipment between refiners at the paper mill. The new processes will reduce electricity and chemicals used in the refining process.
BPA will fund about $21 million, and Cowlitz County PUD will contribute up to an additional $3.9 million. NORPAC is funding the remaining $35 million of the $60 million project.
“This project is a win-win,” said Dan Fulton, president and CEO for Weyerhaeuser. “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 onsite. We are thankful BPA and Cowlitz PUD have partnered successfully with us to make this remarkable energy-efficiency project a reality.”
In addition to the energy and chemical-use savings, the project created an unforseen benefit: It allows NORPAC to produce a 92 bright ground wood sheet, a new product.
Lumber Liquidators introduces Floor Finder app
Toano, Va-based Lumber Liquidators has unveiled its new Floor Finder app, available to iPhone and iPad users.
The app provides mobile access to every floor in Lumber Liquidators’ inventory and includes a feature called The Visualizer, which allows users to place a number of flooring choices in a photo of their own room. These photos can then be uploaded to social media platforms where friends can opine on the user’s flooring choices.
“We’re especially excited about The Visualizer feature in our new app,” said Tom Sullivan, founder of Lumber Liquidators. “Now customers can see how a floor will look in their home before laying a single board.”
Customers can also make purchases directly from the app or locate their local store. They can scan QR codes found in stores or catalogs to get more product information and exclusive deals. The app also features a calculator to help customers determine the amount of flooring needed for an upcoming project.
Click here for more information.
Texas officials hold West Nile classes at Home Depot, Lowe’s
The City of Fort Worth, Texas, has announced that it will hold do-it-yourself help sessions for dealing with mosquitoes and the threat of West Nile virus at a number of Home Depot and Lowe’s locations.
Tarrant county residents can attend Saturday and Sunday classes at Lowe’s or Home Depot on Aug. 25 and 26. (The weekend seminars began in early August.) Classes will focus on mosquito eradication and methods for eliminating nesting areas in and around homes, apartments or condos.
While the most common advice is to drain standing water, there are some situations where this can’t be done. In these cases, public health officials recommend treating standing water with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). Bti can be purchased at hardware stores or retail garden centers.
West Nile Virus is a disease that spreads from birds to humans through infected mosquitoes. Cases have been reported throughout the United States, with nearly half of them concentrated in Texas. Northern Texas has been particularly hard hit, and a number of cities have begun aerial spraying. The mayor of Dallas called a state of emergency on Aug. 15.