Australia's Visy starts up $50M power plant at Coolaroo containerboard mill

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Australia's Visy starts up $50M power plant at Coolaroo containerboard mill

December 01, 2011 - 16:24
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BRISBANE, Dec. 2, 2011 (RISI) -Australian packaging giant Visy has installed a cogeneration power plant at its 230,000 tonne/yr Coolaroo containerboard mill in the state of Victoria.

The A$50 million ($50 million) facility is able to generate 27MW of thermal energy and 3MW of electric energy from the rejects of the paper recycling process. It was officially inaugurated late last month.

The plant may be the first of several at the privately-owned firm's five Australian board mills. Visy has rough plans to invest A$500 million in a series of such 30MW waste-to-energy plants. While the Coolaroo site's production is not being sold onto the national grid, the output of future power facilities may be.

There have been suggestions that some A$100 million would be invested at the firm's Tumut mill in southern New South Wales alone, where Visy has already recently focused on a capacity expansion.

In late 2009, the facility's containerboard capacity was raised to 700,000 tonnes/yr with the commissioning of a 414,000 tonne/yr kraftliner machine.

However, sites near the cities of Brisbane, Queensland, and Sydney, NSW, are also reported to be under consideration for the next power plants.