Richmond, Virginia, USA, 27 June 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 USD 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 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 papermaking process. Using these renewable resources will provide 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,” said 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 state, county, and city officials on this strategic investment, which will create and secure 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.
The Covington Mill is the world’s largest solid bleached sulfate (SBS) mill. It produces approximately 900,000 tons of high quality SBS paperboard for many of the world’s most popular and recognized tobacco, food, healthcare and personal care brands, exporting nearly 50% of its production to international markets.
MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV), provides packaging solutions to many of the world’s most-admired brands in the healthcare, beauty and personal care, food, beverage, home and garden, and tobacco industries. The company's businesses also include Consumer & Office Products, Specialty Chemicals, and the Community Development and Land Management Group, which sustainably manages the company’s land holdings to support its operations, and to provide for conservation, recreation, and development opportunities. With 17,500 employees worldwide, MWV operates in 30 countries and serves customers in more than 100 nations. MWV manages all of its forestlands in accordance with internationally recognized forest certification standards, and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the seventh consecutive year. For more information, visit www.mwv.com.