Nippon Paper Industries USA faces its last regulatory hurdle in its plans to build a biomass-fuelled CHP project in Port Angeles, Washington State, US.

The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency hosted a public hearing this week on the project’s air emissions permit with a decision expected within the next 30 days.

Nippon plans to build a US$71 million biomass cogeneration boiler, which would upgrade the existing boiler.

The new boiler will double the amount of wood waste burned to produce process steam. It also will generate up to 20 MW of electrical power by burning the waste from logging sites and sawmills. The company could then sell credits for the electricity.

Further, the new boiler will reduce the mill’s emissions of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter. However, biomass opponents fear it will also increase emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.

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