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New York Paper Mill Chooses CNG as Energy Source

Having abandoned plans earlier this year to tap into a pipeline for natural gas, International Paper's mill in Ticonderoga, NY, moved this month to line up trucked-in supplies of compressed natural gas (CNG).

Vermont-based NG Advantage LLC has signed a deal with International Paper to provide the CNG as an extension of an existing supply arrangement to provide enough CNG to the New York paper mill to displace 32,000 gallons of fuel oil daily.

A subsidiary of California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (see Daily GPI, Oct. 16, 2014), NG Advantage will deliver CNG to the mill using its “Virtual Pipeline,” consisting of compressor stations located on natural gas pipelines, a fleet of carbon fiber CNG trailers, and offloading/monitoring equipment at the mill.

Permitting and economic barriers prevented International Paper from continuing its plans to tap into gas supplies from neighboring Vermont Gas Co. through a connecting pipeline that was slated to be built under Lake Champlain. Last February International aborted its pipeline plans.

The New York mill is International Paper's largest facility without access to natural gas, so it has turned to trucking in CNG as an alternative to burning fuel oil. For the long term, NG Advantage will bid in September on a new contract with the paper mill. The company issued a new request for proposals (RFP) recently.

"Because International Paper is staunchly committed to their environmental goals, they have done years of design work to extend a pipeline under Lake Champlain to replace fuel oil with natural gas, and they now will be able to convert to burning natural gas even though the pipeline extension proved uneconomical," said NG Advantage CEO Tom Evslin.

Evslin said trucked CNG can provide the economic and environmental benefits International was seeking from a traditional pipeline connection.

NG Advantage has been lining up more heavy industry and large energy consuming installations, such as hospitals and food processors, as the New England region has struggled to build more natural gas infrastructure to tap into the Marcellus shale gas boom in the Northeast.

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