Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Corbett Releases Funding To Convert Glatfelter Paper Mill To Natural Gas

Gov. Tom Corbett Wednesday announced the award of a $5-million Economic Growth Initiative Grant and $3-million Alternative and Clean Energy Grant to Glatfelter to support the conversion of the company’s Spring Grove, York County paper mill to use natural gas to fuel its boilers.
In addition to the grant, Glatfelter is investing more than $55 million of its own funds in the mill, spending which will secure continued employment for its approximately 850 employees, reduce boiler air emissions significantly, and eliminate more than 5,000 heavy truck trips annually through the Spring Grove area.
Converting from coal to natural gas will make Glatfelter one of the largest industrial natural gas users in the area, supporting Pennsylvania’s position as leader in natural gas exploration, generation and distribution.
“The Spring Grove mill’s conversion to natural gas offers Pennsylvania three very important benefits,” Gov. Corbett said. “It secures – for decades to come – good-paying jobs for the employees of Glatfelter, a major economic contributor in York County for 150 years.
“The mill will be able to tap into the abundant supply of natural gas found right here in Pennsylvania and is making our state one of the nation’s most important energy centers. And it will make a major contribution to the prosperity and future economic development of York County.”
“The natural gas conversion project is important to our company, our people and our community,” said Dante C. Parrini, Glatfelter chairman and chief executive officer. “In combination with other investments, it will enable Glatfelter to sustain the mill’s operations into the future, protect jobs and families, attain greater energy efficiency while reducing our carbon footprint, and ensure our full compliance with current and anticipated air quality regulations. We appreciate the assistance this grant provides and the opportunity to put these resources to work for Pennsylvania.”
The grant for the natural gas conversion project will be an important part of an anticipated investment by Glatfelter’s of more than $100 million over the next several years to modernize the mill to maintain its competitiveness and support its high-technology manufacturing process. The mill produces a variety of specialty paper products that serve a broad range of customers and industries globally.
“With this grant, the Commonwealth is again demonstrating its support for environmental sustainability, employment security and economic development of York County.” Gov. Corbett said. “Our investment and Glatfelter’s commitment will not only strengthen York County but will promote additional local and regional economic development.”
The Spring Grove natural gas conversion project will generate an estimated $290 million in annual economic impact for the Commonwealth, and more than $250 million in York County, while supporting 1,765 more jobs across the county.
The project will retain economic activity that might otherwise been lost, and add or retain more than $52 million in state and local taxes over the next five years.
Glatfelter’s new boilers will use more than 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually, ranking the mill as one of the region’s largest gas users. Its gas consumption will be greater than the amount needed to supply the annual natural gas needs of the residents of Harrisburg or fuel every household in Pennsylvania for two full days.
Use of such large volumes of gas will require the installation of a natural gas connector line from a transmission source to the mill. Installation of the connector could create new opportunities for industrial, commercial, nonprofit and governmental users to access natural gas along its route. Glatfelter has begun a study of route options for the connector.

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