Gov. Chris Gregoire is honoring the Norpac newsprint mill and Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Inc. for their work in energy conservation, Cowlitz PUD announced Wednesday.
The two Longview-based paper makers each won an at-large 2012 Governor’s Award in the first Washington Industrial Energy Leaders program for their work in energy conservation.
Norpac, which is co-owned by Weyerhaeuser Co. and Japan-based Nippon Paper Industries, was recognized for its $60 million chip pretreatment project that was unveiled in August. The company saved about 12 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 8,000 homes, by installing new equipment for bleaching paper and refining wood chips.
The project was the Pacific Northwest’s largest energy efficiency project.
Longview Fibre was recognized for boosting its renewable energy generation by 54 megawatts by installing new steam turbines and upgrading other equipment.
The company has also cut back its carbon footrpint, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 72 percent over the last decade and water consumption by 37 percent over the last eight years. About 90 percent of the mill’s power use comes from renewable sources, mostly by burning biomass such as wood waste.
Gregoire is presenting the awards to both company Dec. 5 in Olympia.
The Washington Industrial Energy Leaders program was created to recognize companies that are improving energy efficiency, according to the PUD. It was established by joint effort of the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Washington State Department of Commerce.