Washington biomass projects at Nippon Paper, Borgford gain federal funds

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Washington biomass projects at Nippon Paper, Borgford gain federal funds

March 31, 2010 - 07:20
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OLYMPIA, WA, March 30, 2010 (Press Release) -Governor Chris Gregoire and the Washington State Department of Commerce today announced recipients of grants and loans from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that include two of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Forest Biomass Initiative pilot projects.

Of the $16.5 million total awarded today in grants and loans, Borgford Bioenergy in Stevens County was awarded $771,406 ($539,984 loan / $231,422 grant) and Nippon Paper Industries in Clallam County was awarded $2 million ($1.4 million loan / $600,000 grant).

"These awards magnify the viability of a new forest biomass industry on state trust lands," said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. "By making these awards today, Governor Gregoire is not only helping to create jobs, but also helping to keep working lands working."

Borgford Bioenergy will utilize the funds for the gasification of woodwaste to produce biopower and biochar, a soil amendment to enhance wheat production in northeast Washington. These funds will create or retain 27 jobs.

"We are excited that Commissioner Goldmark has stepped up to help us forward the energy project at Kulzer, Washington. This will help create more jobs than we have already created with previous partnership efforts," said Dale Borgford, Borgford Bioenergy. "We are looking forward to putting more people to work."

Nippon Paper Industries was awarded $2 million ($1.4 million loan / $600,000 grant) to replace an existing process steam boiler with a new forest biomass boiler and add a 20 MW condensing turbine-generator. The conversion will allow an increased use of forest byproducts as fuel, qualifying the project as a biomass combined heat and power generator under most western renewable portfolio standards. In addition to creating electricity in this constrained portion of the grid on the Peninsula, the project will help to retain 234 jobs at Nippon Paper's mill in Port Angeles and create 10 additional jobs during the conversion phase.

"We are humbled and appreciative of all that has been done for us to date by Commissioner Goldmark, the Governor's Office, and the Department of Commerce. We could not have asked for more from this team," said Harold Norlund, Nippon Paper Industries. "We know there are high expectations of our project and we intend to meet them. Nippon is committed to making this project very successful."