From an article by Nathaniel Shuda in the Stevens Point Journal:
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Although NewPage has discontinued work on a biofuels gasification project in Michigan, the decision does not affect a similar project in Wisconsin Rapids, a company spokeswoman said.
The Miamisburg, Ohio-based papermaker announced July 17 its plans to discontinue work on the project at its Escanaba, Mich., pulp and paper mill, citing poor market conditions in North America.
“While this type of new technology is exciting to consider, unfortunately, the escalating cost … and the lack of demand for these products in our country doesn’t support the feasibility of this project,” Rick Willett, NewPage’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
In January 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded NewPage a $30 million grant to build a small-scale biorefinery in Wisconsin Rapids. Stora Enso North America originally submitted the request for federal money, which NewPage inherited when it bought the former Wisconsin Rapids-based company in December 2007.
Since then, company leaders have been studying how to proceed with the project, spokeswoman Shannon Semmerling said.
“We remain on target to have those findings by the end of the year,” Semmerling said.