MWV to Improve Power Infrastructure at Covington, Virginia Mill
RICHMOND, Va., USA, Jun 27, 2011 - MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV) today announced that it will construct a new, state-of-the-art biomass boiler and upgrade associated power infrastructure at its Covington, Virginia, facility. This $285 million investment positions the facility for profitable growth and will further its competitive advantage in providing high quality paperboard packaging for the global food, healthcare and tobacco markets. This economically attractive project allows the mill to become self-sufficient in electrical power and steam generation and significantly reduces ongoing operating and maintenance costs.
The new boiler and related 75 megawatt steam turbine generator system will replace two older and less efficient units. It will primarily burn renewable biomass such as tree bark, wood residues often left behind from logging operations, and residuals from the waste water from the paper making process. Using these renewable resources provides reliable, efficient, and lower-cost sources of fuel to produce steam and electricity for the mill.
"MWV is committed to strategically investing in our facilities to profitably serve growing global markets for consumer packaging," stated Greg Hansrote, vice president of Covington Operations for MWV. "Today's announcement is another example of our company's commitment to continuously improve the performance of our operations. This investment creates reliable power supply at the mill that will support future productivity improvements."
MWV expects to secure the necessary permits to begin construction in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company has worked closely with Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell and officials from Alleghany County and the City of Covington on this strategic investment that creates and secures jobs in the region. The project will take advantage of Federal, state and local incentives. The investment will be financed through a combination of cash and borrowings. The new boiler and infrastructure upgrades are expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2013.