Georgia-Pacific’s Brewton mill wins energy award

Standing 226 feet tall with a 75-megawatt turbine, the $388 million recovery boiler — powered by residual materials from the paper-making process — generates steam to power the entire mill. It went online in 2016.

Georgia-Pacific’s containerboard mill at Brewton has earned kudos from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for voluntarily cutting energy consumption.

The 2020 Energy Star Challenge Achieve for Industry award recognizes companies that voluntarily reduce energy intensity by 10% over five years.

The Brewton mill, which added a $388 million recovery boiler in 2016, beat the goal, cutting energy intensity just over 11%. The company calculates that the power generated through burning paper-making residuals would be enough to power the city of Auburn.

Brewton is the first Alabama mill and the fourth nationally to win the EPA recognition. Georgia-Pacific’s mills in Palatka, Florida; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Muskogee, Oklahoma, had met the target earlier.

“As a company, we continually look for ways to advance environmental excellence, which includes working to consume fewer resources such as energy,” said Tommy Blaylock, Brewton mill vice president and mill general manager. “As a business neighbor within the region, we have a vested interest doing the right things and I’m extremely proud of our team’s focus around energy efficiency and reduction efforts.”

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The Brewton mill, with some 400 employees, produces rolls of paperboard used for corrugated boxes and paper plates.

Georgia-Pacific notes: “According to the EPA, if the energy efficiency of U.S. commercial and industrial buildings improved by 10%, Americans would save about $20 billion and reduce greenhouse gases equal to approximately 30 million vehicles.”

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