Abitibi to build biomass energy generator

In reporting capital expenditures of $26 million for the three-month period ended March 31, 2007 (versus $37 million in 1Q06), Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. said it would invest $C84.3 million in a new biomass energy generator at its Fort Frances, Ontario, pulp and paper mill. The company’s net contribution to the project will be $61.8 million. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and the generator is anticipated to be in operation during the fall of 2008. Wood-waste fuel will be used to generate steam and 45.5 MW of electricity for the mill which should eliminate about 90% of its current greenhouse gas emissions.

The boiler will burn mill-generated wood waste and primary sludge, as well as harvest slash from woodlands operations and wood waste from area sawmills. The project is expected to reduce the mill’s manufacturing costs by about $C26 million/y. A-C intends to limit its capital expenditure program in 2007 to about $C165 million.

• Other A-C news included the indefinite idling of the Fort William, ON, commercial printing papers mill. As well: the planned merger with Bowater is expected to be completed in 3Q07; the ACH LP partnership with the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec involving the company’s Ontario hydroelectric assets is expected to be formalized in 2Q07. A-C holds a 75% interest in ACH. www.abitibiconsolidated.com. PI

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