MRO Magazine

International Paper to retrofit or replace vintage equipment to use alternate fuels

New Orleans, La. -- At the International Joint Power Generation Conference & Exposition in New Orleans, La., June 4...


July 11, 2001
By MRO Magazine

New Orleans, La. — At the International Joint Power Generation Conference & Exposition in New Orleans, La., June 4-7, 2001, International Paper — the world’s largest forest products company — outlined an agenda for how it plans to tackle high energy prices.

In 2000, the company spent over $1 billion on energy resources for its plants, an increase of $220 million over the previous year. This was mainly due to the high cost of electricity, oil and natural gas. In an effort to insulate itself from fuel price variances, the company is introducing a new paradigm emphasizing risk management versus risk tolerance.

The first priority in the company’s strategy to manage risks calls for the reduction of energy consumption through conservation. The focal point of the energy conservation program dictates a reduction in steam demand. Pulp and paper plants use steam generated from boilers to heat dryers on paper machines and also in the pulping process.

By replacing equipment and process units with new technology that require less thermal energy, the company will ultimately reduce energy and operating costs.


Beyond energy conservation, International Paper is also investigating the use of alternate fuels to reduce the dependency on traditional feedstocks such as natural gas and oil. One option being considered when replacing vintage equipment, particularly power boilers, is the possibility of adding coal-fired boilers using new, advanced, clean-coal technologies. The company is developing a fuel flexibility program that may include petroleum coke, recycled oil and refuse derived fuel (RDF). Most of the company’s plants will require retrofits or replacements to accommodate these or other alternate fuels.

Speaking at the conference, Wayne MacIntire, senior manager of pulp and power technology, said the company collectively generates approximately 2,400 megawatts of electricity as an industrial energy producer (IEP). He also stated that the company has in operation 74 power boilers, 58 black liquor recovery boilers, 83 steam turbine generators and seven gas turbine generators.

International Paper currently has over 100 major paper mill and converting plants, as well as about 30 wood products plants, located in the U.S.

This article was compiled from a report posted online at, the web site of Industrial Information Resources, a Houston-based organization serving the marketing and sales information needs of companies that sell products and services into the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy-related market sectors.