Toray building new $22.7M power facility at Quonest

Work is under way on a new $22.7 million cogeneration facility at Toray Plastics America’s Quonset campus that aims to take the state’s largest user of electricity off the grid by next year.

A cogeneration, or cogen, facility produces both heat and electricity using one primary fuel source – natural gas. In Toray’s case, it purchases electricity from both National Grid and a Canadian supplier.

The new system, which is expected to be operational by March 2014, will be the second dedicated power production system for the Torayfan polypropylene film division and other sites around the property. It should dramatically reduce Toray’s demand on the supply of electricity, particularly during peak periods in the summer months. In addition, the company estimates that the new system will eliminate approximately 12,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

“Toray has a legacy of innovation and commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated by our product development and operations,” Toray Plastics America CEO and President Rick Schloesser said in a statement. “Our taking action to reduce further our energy consumption and carbon footprint is good for business, people and the environment.”

The plastics and polypropylene manufacturer, which has been located in the Quonset Business Park since 1989 after the company opened a smaller facility off Old Baptist Road in 1985, produces numerous products that consumers come across on a daily basis, but most likely have no idea they’re produced right here in North Kingstown.

That includes the packaging for Rice Krispies Treats, Nutri-Grain bars, Pop Tarts, Swedish Fish, Gold Fish, Sun Chips and other Frito Lay and Nabisco products.

The 86.5-acre site off Belver Avenue is home to two distinct facilities: Torayfan and Lumirror. Torayfan produces metallized films, while Lumirror produces polyester, magnetic films that can be used in products such as flat panel displays and computer data storage.

The Quonset facility, which employs about 600 people, runs continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year...

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