In September 2009, we proposed construction of a biomass-fueled cogeneration power plant at Domtar Corporation's Rothschild, Wis., paper mill site. We filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in March 2010. All necessary local and state approvals were received by June 2011. Construction has begun, and the plant is expected to be operational in late 2013.
Construction timeline (PDF 123k)
Cost: $255 million
Capacity: 50 megawatts
Fuel: Biomass - wood, waste wood and sawdust
Location: Domtar Corporation’s paper mill in Rothschild, Wis.
Jobs: The project is expected to create 400+ construction jobs over the 2.5-year building process and approximately 150 permanent jobs in fields supporting the operation of the biomass plant (forest management, logging, transportation). The project will enable Domtar to be better positioned in the competitive global market. Domtar's Rothschild pulp and paper mill and the associated Lignotech chemical facility directly employ 460 men and women at family supporting wages. Roughly 800 external jobs rely on the economic impact of the mill.
Get details on employment opportunities
Air quality: With the combination of the biomass plant’s state-of-th-art air quality technology and the retirement of Domtar’s existing boilers, we anticipate that the new plant will reduce the overall emissions from the mill site by approximately 30 percent. Click here to see air quality modeling information for specific locations in the Rothschild area.
Graph of current vs. future air quality impact by location (PDF 31k)
Description and table of air quality impact by location (PDF 19k)
Shared revenue: Once the plant is in service, both the Village of Rothschild and Marathon County will receive an annual payment based on the megawatt capacity of the plant. We estimate the Village will receive $146,650 per year and Marathon County $113,350.
Efficiency: Combined heat and power cogeneration is a more efficient use of biomass fuel than producing steam and electricity separately. And the new plant will use the existing brownfield site on the Domtar paper mill property and share the mill’s infrastructure and resources.
Healthy forests: Use of biomass material for energy generation promotes active management for sustaining forest growth and decreasing disease, infestation and fire risks.
Printable fact sheet (PDF 2.2mb)
Project announcement - Sept. 1, 2009 – news release and audio comments
Go to Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (search case number 6630-CE-305)
Go to Domtar Paper Company
Go to Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance
Go to Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association
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