NORTH KINGSTOWN – Toray Plastics (America) Inc. will begin construction this month on a second cogeneration system at its North Kingstown campus, the company announced.
Cogeneration power systems allow users to generate their own power without relying on the local energy grid. The new system at Toray will be a combined heat and power system, which will generate both electricity and thermal energy to power its manufacturing operations.
Toray, which manufactures films for packaging, lidding and other applications, uses its existing cogeneration system to power its Lumirror polyester film division. The division is able to continue manufacturing even during severe weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy, that take out electrical power elsewhere.
The new cogeneration system, set to be up and running by March 2014, will power production for Torayfan polypropylene film and other products on the 70 acre property, according to a release.
“Toray has a legacy of innovation and commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated by our product development and operations,” said Rick Schloesser, Toray president and CEO, in a statement. “Our taking action to reduce further our energy consumption and carbon footprint is good for business, people and the environment. Our global customers value our focus on producing the highest-quality high-performance, competitively-priced OPP and PET films and our comprehensive sustainability initiative.”
The company has set aside $22.7 million to develop the system, including funds from National Grid’s Energy Efficiency Program. Toray estimates the project will generate some 150,000 hours of construction labor.
Toray’s investment in the new cogeneration plant comes on the heels of a $15 million expansion in coating technology, which allowed the company to broaden its LumiLid polyester lidding brand. The expansion will create about 16 local jobs, the company said. The lidding films are especially popular for food packaging, according to a release.
Updated to add detail on cogeneration and job creation.