30 Jan State mill lands $30 million grant for biofuel production
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – The NewPage Corp. paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids has received a four-year, $30 million federal grant to produce diesel fuel from wood waste, but another Wisconsin mill lost out in the most recent granting round, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
NewPage Corp’s Wisconsin Rapids mill is one of four projects to receive a total of $114 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants designed to promote alternative energy production.
It is another sign that the state, given resources like forest and agricultural wastes, is in a strong position to help develop new biofuels to complement corn-based ethanol. In 2007, the University of Wisconsin-Madison landed a $125 million in DOE funding for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, which will study ways to produce cellulosic ethanol from non-food sources.
Headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, NewPage Corp. owns 12 paper mills, including facilities in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nova Scotia.
Flambeau River Papers was not as fortunate, however. The Park Falls mill applied for a grant but was not selected. With the help of a $4 million package of state loans, the former Smart Papers mill reopened in 2006 as Flambeau River Papers with the intention of exploring alternative energy and biobased power options as part of its operations.
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