Sonoco to conduct week-long steam blows in Hartsville -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Sonoco to conduct week-long steam blows in Hartsville

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – Hartsville residents can expect to hear some loud noises coming from the Sonoco plant, as the company begins "steam blows" Monday to test out its new biomass boiler.

A plant spokesman says "steam blows" on the boiler are to clean out the superheater section and steamlines. Testing will be conducted between 8 a.m. and last until 9 p.m., and is expected to be completed in five days.

The new biomass boiler will produce about 16 megawatts  of green energy, which is expected to save the plant about $14 million in operating costs annually. Officials say the project is about 80 percent complete and they anticipate the facility to be fully online early-to-mid-December.

The new boiler will produce a steam that is used in the paper-making process. The Hartsville complex is Sonoco's largest manufacturing complex in the world, and there are three paper mills that produce recycled paperboard from seven different machines.

The Hartsville manufacturing complex has used two coal-fired boilers for more than 60 years, and the new biomass boiler will be fueled by wood chips generated by logging activity, but can also operate on natural gas.

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