Procter & Gamble’s new paper plant in Albany, Georgia, USA will be powered by, well, plants—or biomass to be more specific. The company will develop a 50-megawatt biomass combined heat and power (CHP) facility that will help run its Bounty paper towel & Charmin toilet tissue plant there.
The biomass plant will turn scrap wood into steam and electricity, providing 100% of the steam P&G needs to make Bounty and Charmin. In addition, the incoming biomass will provide up to 60-70% of the site’s overall energy needs, according to the company.
When it opens in 2017, the biomass plant will significantly increase P&G’s use of renewable energy, moving the company closer to its goal of obtaining 30% of total energy from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% one day in the future.
P&G currently gets 8% of its energy from renewable sources including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. This new project will get P&G nearly halfway to its 2020 goal.
“As this project enables us to operate one of our largest global plants with a renewable energy source, it will reduce the environmental footprint of two leading brands, Bounty and Charmin. We see this as a win for our business, consumers, partners and the environment,” explained Martin Riant, executive sponsor of sustainability and group president, global baby and feminine & family care.
According to the company, the project has been in the works for nearly two years, and has included more than a dozen partners. The $200-million plant will be built, owned and operated by Constellation, a leading retail supplier of power, natural gas and energy products and services, and a subsidiary of the Exelon Corporation.
In addition to steam for P&G, the plant also will generate electricity that Constellation will sell to local utility Georgia Power, which will share it with residents across the state. Several local, state and federal officials and other companies also supported the project.
“This is a Connect+Develop project on steroids,” said P&G’s Global Business Development Manager Bob Bourbon, who helped structure the partnerships to make the project a reality.
The new plant will replace an aging biomass boiler that has been providing about 30% of the total energy needed to run the Albany site for the last 34 years.
“We’ve been committed to biomass for generations. This project takes us to a heightened level of commitment and benefit,” said Len Sauers, VP-global sustainability.