In Greek mythology, the Phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. At American Eagle Paper Mills, Project Phoenix was commissioned in 2013 to reinvent the mill’s critical infrastructures by primarily focusing on environmental efficiency; using less electricity, less water, and less steam to produce our high quality recycled uncoated papers. Completed in August 2016, Project Phoenix has positioned American Eagle Paper Mills as a true environmental leader in the manufacture of 100% recycled papers.
The Tyrone mill, constructed in 1880, is one of the oldest working mills in the United States. Before being restarted by American Eagle Paper Mills, the mills prior owner (MWV formerly westvaco), operated 5 paper machines in the complex. The mills legacy energy infrastructure was larger than necessary to support the 2 machines currently operating and was systemically inefficient. Project Phoenix began with the redesign of the mills energy system which included new power frequency convertors and power factor correction equipment, installation of high efficiency steam generation and distribution systems, and conversion to locally sources and low cost PA grid power
The project was completed in August 2016 at a cost of $8 million dollars. The environmental impact of the project was dramatic. Project Phoenix improved purchased energy efficiency by of 33.7%. Project Phoenix resulted in a 67.7% annual reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions. Project Phoenix resulted in a 18.1% process water reduction in addition to 83% reduction in water withdrawal from local watersheds. Project Phoenix eliminated coal usage at the mill and eliminated the transport of 70,000 tons of coal and 10,000 tons of coal ash through the town of Tyrone, PA.
American Eagle Paper Mills celebrated the completion Project Phoenix with an event in September 2016 with over 150 guests, including local politicians and business leaders, joined mill leaders, employees, and the Phoenix Project Team to celebrate the milestone accomplishment. At the event, CEO Mike Grimm praised the project team, noting that the project was engineered and built up mostly by our own employees. Stories about the project and the tremendous environmental savings were reported by local and national media outlets and can be found on Our News page.