$200 million worth of power

Minnesota Power and Blandin Paper are proposing to build a $200 million energy facility adjacent to Blandin Paper in Grand Rapids, MN.

Minnesota Power and Blandin Paper Company, a subsidiary of UPM-Kymmene of Helsinki, Finland, have proposed an energy facility adjacent to Blandin Paper in Grand Rapids, MN, through a partnering arrangement.

A new company, Rapids Power LLC, will be created to own the facility. Minnesota Power subsidiary Rainy River Energy Corporation will own 71.5% of Rapids Power LLC and Blandin Paper Company will own 28.5%.

The project is expected to cost more than $200 million.

The new plant will meet all steam requirements of the UPM-Kymmene-owned Blandin Paper Company. In addition, the facility will provide approximately 225 megawatts of electric generation capacity to help meet the region’s growing power needs.

The combined heat and power (CHP) plant will be capable of using up to 40% renewable bio-fuel, composed primarily of wood waste. Rapids Power LLC will partner with local producers and government agencies to maximize the use of bio-fuels.

Low-sulphur, Powder River Basin coal and natural gas will also be used to fuel the plant.

The project design replicates a project under construction in Pietarsaari, Finland, that is claimed to be the world’s largest bio-fuel circulating fluidised bed boiler.

Rapids Power LLC anticipates filing a Certificate of Need with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission early next month. The project is contingent on timely receipt of necessary federal and state approvals and permits.

Construction would begin in the fall of 2002 and is slated for completion in mid-2005.

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