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Graphic Packaging Begins Biomass Project at Georgia Mill

Marietta, Georgia, USA, 10 December 2010 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Graphic Packaging International, Inc. (GPI), a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company (NYSE: GPK), has approved a plan to expand use of biomass energy in its Macon, Georgia, paperboard mill, at an estimated cost of up to USD 80 million. The project, which will include a high-efficiency biomass boiler and a 40 megawatt turbine generator, will begin immediately.

The objectives of the biomass project are to further the company's sustainability strategy, reduce energy costs and to improve the profitability of the Macon mill in advance of expected increases in electricity costs. The mill currently produces approximately 1600 tons of paperboard per day.

The company intends to complete the project and begin operations by mid-year 2013. The new biomass system is expected to make the Macon mill self-sufficient for electrical power and steam generation, thereby stabilizing and reducing energy costs and dependency on fossil-fuel based alternatives. The mill expects to become a net producer of electricity.

The biomass system will

  • provide energy from biomass - a carbon neutral, renewable energy source;
  • generate approximately 40 megawatts of power per hour from a renewable energy source -- enough electrical power to support approximately 27,400 homes per year;
  • reduce the Macon mill's fossil-fuel based greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 200,000 tons per year through the substitution of biomass--the emissions equivalent of approximately 35,000 passenger cars; and
  • generate power from approximately 400,000 tons per year of logging residuals (tops and branches of trees), for which an estimated 3.3 million tons per year of residuals are currently available in the Macon area.

"Graphic Packaging is committed to engaging in more sustainable manufacturing processes," said David Scheible, president and CEO. "This biomass project will not only make use of untapped renewable resources, but it will also add value to the Macon, Georgia, community as a whole."

Graphic Packaging International, Inc., a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company (NYSE: GPK), headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, is a leading provider of paperboard packaging solutions for a wide variety of products to food, beverage, and other consumer products companies. The company is one of the largest producers of folding cartons and holds a leading market position in coated-recycled boxboard and specialty bag packaging. The company's customers include some of the most widely recognized companies in the world. Additional information about Graphic Packaging, its business and its products is available on the company's Web site at www.graphicpkg.com.


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