Vermont Gas to Serve International Paper's Ticonderoga, NY Mill
Vermont Gas and International Paper's Ticonderoga, NY mill have announced the signing of an agreement that will enable natural gas service to the paper mill by the end of 2015. Both companies have been working to develop an agreement that will supply clean and affordable natural gas to the Ticonderoga mill while helping Vermont Gas to further expand service closer to Rutland, Vermont.
"We are excited with this opportunity to bring natural gas service to International Paper's Ticonderoga mill." said Don Gilbert, President and CEO of Vermont Gas Systems. "This is a great opportunity for the mill, Vermont and for the region," he said.
Vermont Gas is currently working to design and permit the Addison Natural Gas Project (ANGP) to extend natural gas service to Vergennes and Middlebury as the first step towards the long term goal of bringing natural gas service to Rutland. "The addition of the Ticonderoga mill to this project will support a larger and longer pipeline network, at no additional cost to our customers, and will help us to achieve our goal of bringing natural gas service to more Vermonters," Gilbert said.
International Paper's Ticonderoga mill has been in operation at its current location since 1970. Located on the western shores of Lake Champlain, the Ticonderoga Paper Mill is less than a half mile from Vermont. With 600 employees at the mill and more than 650 independent loggers and truckers in New York and Vermont who directly earn a living by harvesting and delivering wood, the mill is a significant economic driver in the region.
"I can't overstate the importance of this agreement," said Chris Mallon, Ticonderoga Mill Manager, "Our business is highly competitive and cost reduction projects such as this will help the long-term viability of the mill and retain jobs for the region. This agreement provides a unique opportunity for the mill to reap the benefits of a fuel that is much lower cost, while positioning us to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
"This project will have a critical impact on the North Country economy, retaining hundreds of jobs in the region," said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "The North Country Regional Economic Development Council designated this project as a priority for the area, recognizing these critical improvements will help secure International Paper's presence in the region and allow it to better compete in the paper mill industry. The State is committed to working with International Paper as a major employer in the region and applauds the partnerships involved, allowing this project to move forward."
"Anything that strengthens IP is good news for the North Country, and there is probably nothing right now than can do more to strengthen the IP operation in Ticonderoga than access to natural gas," added Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. "The Chamber has been pleased to work closely with IP in reaching out to key partners in Albany and Washington as plans have developed. We must all see this important development through to a positive conclusion, from extension of the pipeline from Vermont and conversion of the plant to the most expeditious possible action on required permits and approvals. Governor Cuomo and his administration are very much engaged, as are Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, Congressman Owens and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. It's a great example of partnership."
NATURAL GAS IN VERMONT
Natural Gas is as an affordable clean fuel that can help Vermont to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, natural gas prices in Vermont are 44% less than fuel oil and 50% less than propane, providing a significant cost advantage to customers.
"We continue to hear from Vermont communities that they want natural gas service as soon as possible," said Don Gilbert, President and CEO of Vermont Gas Systems. "That's why serving the paper mill in Ticonderoga is so exciting - it will expand and extend our pipeline network further south toward Rutland, sooner, and at no additional cost to our customers. In addition it will support an important local business securing jobs in the region and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the area," he said.
The Addison Natural Gas Project (ANGP) is the first step in expanding our service further south. The project is currently in the engineering and permitting phase and is proposed to bring natural gas service to Middlebury Vermont in 2014. A smaller pipeline lateral will then be constructed to the Ticonderoga Paper Mill crossing well below the bottom of Lake Champlain using a technique called directional boring. This is the same technique used in to install natural gas pipelines in Vermont under the Missisquoi and Winooski rivers and will provide a direct route to the plant that avoids potential disturbance to the lake bottom. "If all goes as planned we will be providing natural gas to the Ticonderoga mill in 2015," Gilbert said.
Vermont Gas will submit requests for permits for the first stage of the Addison Natural Gas Project in December of 2012.
About International Paper - Ticonderoga Mill
The Ticonderoga mill produces 850 tons a day of high quality opaque, technical grades and offset paper under the brand names of Hammermill, Accent Opaque and Williamsburg. The mill, located in the Adirondack Park on the shore of Lake Champlain, draws fiber from forests that have been managed responsibly for more than a century and adheres to the principles of the Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative, ensuring the continual planting, growing and harvesting of trees while protecting wildlife, plants, soil, air and water quality. The 600 employees at the Ticonderoga mill take pride in producing quality paper for printers, publishers, business and home office use.
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global paper and packaging company with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include uncoated papers and industrial and consumer packaging, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs approximately 70,000 people and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2011 were $26 billion. Temple-Inland Inc., which was acquired in February 2012, had 2011 net sales of $4 billion. For more information about International Paper, its products and stewardship efforts, visit www.internationalpaper.com<http://www.internationalpaper.com>
About Vermont Gas Systems
Vermont Gas Systems was established in 1965 to supply natural gas to 6,400 customers in Chittenden and Franklin Counties. Over the years, residents and businesses in these communities have recognized natural gas to be a clean, efficient and abundant form of energy. Over 45,000 customers now recognize Vermont Gas' commitment to providing safe, economical service.
Source: South Burlington, VT and Ticonderoga, NY - 10.17.2012