Sonoco (NYSE:SON), a global provider of industrial products, consumer packaging, protective solutions and packaging services, today dedicated the new biomass facility at its Hartsville, S.C., plant. The biomass boiler is part of a $100 million investment in the Darlington County compound.
"A key part of Sonoco's culture is our commitment to sustainability, including our dedication to improving the environment and our contributions to the future of the communities in which we operate," said Sonoco President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Sanders. "This boiler is proof of that commitment."
"We took more than two years to complete final engineering, fabricate the boiler, put together the infrastructure and complete construction of what we believe to be one of the nation's most state-of-the-art biomass co-generation boiler systems."
In 2011 Sonoco committed to a $75 million investment to replace two aging, coal-fired boilers and add the new biomass boiler at its plant in Hartsville. The new boiler is fueled primarily by woody biomass from regional logging activity, but can also run on natural gas. The boiler will produce about 16 megawatts of green energy that will be consumed by the manufacturing complex, as well as steam that is used in the paper making process.
"South Carolina is being called the fastest growing economy in the Southeast," said Governor Nikki Haley. "One of the reasons is because of innovative projects like Sonoco's biomass boiler. Advancements like this help businesses grow and succeed, attract new customers and bring talent and high-paying jobs to the State."
"This is a great day for Hartsville, my entire Senate District, the State of South Carolina and the entire reach of this Company. The investment and jobs that are created here will benefit our entire region. Sonoco, as a company and partner, has made it clear that they are committed to the present and also the future. Conservation and sustainability are the foundation of the Biomass Boiler," said Senator Gerald Malloy, District 29.
"This announcement marks the conclusion of an event that's taken two years to come to fruition. Two years, $100 million and countless hours. It also marks an important moment for Sonoco, one of the great stewards of our region. Sonoco is known as one of the world's top manufacturing companies, but they're much more than that. This investment is more than just dollars being put into their plant. It's symbolic of their dedication to our area and what the company means to the citizens of the NESA region," said Jeff McKay, executive director of the North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA).
"While we're happy to celebrate the achievement and financial investment in our community, this is also a great opportunity to recognize Sonoco and some of their contributions to Darlington County. They're not just a world-class manufacturing company – they're our neighbors and our partners in making Darlington County better. By serving on numerous boards, committees and special initiatives, they help guide and direct our community to higher aspirations," said Frank Willis, executive director of the Darlington County Economic Development Partnership.