The Whistle Blows Again: New Technology at American Eagle Paper Mills (Company news)
Overcome, adapt and press on; that is just what American Eagle Paper Mills (AEPM) has done with their new, game-changing boiler project. The latest technology was unveiled at the new AEPM warehouse on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016.
The event took an unconventional spin on “ribbon-cutting” by re-blowing the famous whistle, a sound not heard in Tyrone since the old boiler was replaced. Mike Grimm, AEPM’s President and CEO, gave an insightful overview of the Mill’s evolution, its history, and its profound impact on the community.
“Hundreds of pictures, thousands of faces, tens of thousands of people and families that have been connected to the Mill over the past 136 years. It is humbling to know that I am merely one in a very long line of people that have walked through the doors,” said Grimm.
The new Babcock and Wilcox natural gas boiler replaced the old, 1957 coal-stoker fire boiler. The $8 million boiler was an update to technology as well as the systems of the Mill. The new boiler eliminates continuity risks, ensures compliance and cuts operating costs. The boiler will solidify the Mill’s mission of fostering a better environment by:
-Reducing annual Greenhouse Gases by 124,345 tons
-Eliminating annual coal burn requirements by 70,000 tons
-Eliminating annual land filling coal ash of 10,000 tons
-Reducing overall annual emissions by 70%
-Reducing annual water withdrawal from local streams and rivers by 82%
-Reducing daily water withdrawal by 4 billion gallons a year
-120% growth in recycled cut size market in the past two years
The focus of the event was on unveiling the new boiler project, but ultimately it was the rich history and the people that helped make this mill what is today that stole the show.
The Honorable Samuel Hayes Jr., former Pa. Secretary of Agriculture; Marty Marasco, former president and CEO of Altoona Blair County Development Corporation and former Pa. Senator and Majority Whip Robert Jubelirer, also spoke at the event, outlining the tenacity of the Mill and its people. In addition to the boiler, AEPM installed and built a new $3.5 million 50,000 ft. warehouse and installed two cut-sized copy machines that cost $2.5 million. The overall updates to AEPM will assist in American Eagle Paper Mills’ continued success and overall, the newly instated technology was nearly a $15 million capital investment over the past three years.
At the end of the event, the whistle blew when several of the original investors who helped restart the Mill in 2003 came together to press “the big red button,” and Grimm stated:
“The one daily constant that I can remember from my childhood growing up here in Tyrone was the paper mill whistle. This whistle directed not only the days for the employees of the Mill, but it directed most of the residents of the town. Many mothers mandated instructions to their children based upon the whistle including mine. This paper mill whistle means many things to many people… Today we are very proud to restart the whistle to continue the long standing presence here in Tyrone,” Grimm proudly proclaimed.
When the sound echoed over the town once again, it signified how American Eagle Paper Mills and the small town of Tyrone, Pa. have been able to overcome, adapt and press on.
(American Eagle Paper Mills)