International Paper Cedar Rapids: A Sustainable Expansion
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Promoting Sustainability and Economic Growth
International Paper, a leading producer of renewable corrugated packaging and cellulose fibers, has been granted $1.2 million in state tax incentives for its ambitious $103 million expansion project at the Cedar River Mill facility in Cedar Rapids. The development aims to create a more sustainable structure that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 20% in the coming years.
Supporting Environmentally Friendly Initiatives
The Iowa Economic Development Authority board has approved tax credits for International Paper, recognizing its commitment to manufacturing fiber-based packaging products for key segments such as e-commerce, processed food and beverage, fruit and vegetables, protein, distribution, and durable/nondurable goods. The company’s proposed 20,000 square-foot facility, situated on the existing mill site at 4600 C St. SW, adjacent to the paper machine buildings, will not only bolster the local economy but also play a vital role in minimizing environmental impact.
Investing in Cedar Rapids
The project is eligible for state incentives under Iowa’s high-quality jobs program, and International Paper was granted $800,000 in investment tax credits along with a $400,200 sales, service, and use tax refund. City Manager Jeff Pomeranz applauded the expansion, stating, “This is a major investment in Cedar Rapids and a testament to our economic development and growth strategies. We are proud to support their investment and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our community.”
Job Creation and Competitive Wages
According to documents from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Cedar Rapids facility currently provides 240 jobs and will create an additional seven positions. With an hourly wage of $30.24, surpassing the state’s high-quality jobs threshold of $25.20, International Paper remains committed to ensuring competitive compensation for its employees. The company extends its gratitude to the city of Cedar Rapids and the state for their continued support.
City and State Incentives
In addition to the state tax incentives, the Cedar Rapids City Council has approved a 10-year, declining scale exemption of the increased value generated by the project. Over the course of a decade, the city estimates that the development will generate approximately $2.337 million in new taxes, with $961,000 being exempt. By awarding these incentives, the city demonstrates its recognition of International Paper’s contribution to the local economy.
Securing Future Operations
International Paper’s Cedar River Mill currently purchases process steam from Alliant Energy’s Prairie Creek generating station. However, with Alliant Energy discontinuing coal burning at the Prairie Creek generating station by December 31, 2025, the mill will lose its steam supply. To ensure uninterrupted operations, the proposed project includes constructing a two-story building to house package boilers and water treatment systems. This move will enable International Paper to transition from purchased steam using coal-fired boilers to on-site steam production through the use of new natural gas-fired package boilers. Water treatment equipment will be installed to facilitate the operation of the new boilers.
Commitment to Sustainability
The development not only guarantees a reliable steam supply but also reduces Cedar River Mill’s overall carbon emissions. The transition from purchased steam to on-site steam production aligns with the company’s commitment to promoting environmental sustainability. The project will involve the installation of new equipment and the rerouting of water, firewater, and process sewer systems at the building site. A new natural gas line will be established to support the package boilers, further contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions.
Strong Community Support
Ron Corbett, Vice President of Economic Development at Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, appreciates International Paper’s continuous commitment to the mill and the city. This latest $100 million investment serves as a testament to the company’s enduring dedication to the community. With $20 million allocated for building expansion and $83 million for machinery and equipment, International Paper’s capital investment reiterates their support for sustainable growth.
Embracing the Future
Site work is expected to commence in November, with construction scheduled to begin in November 2024. The new steam plant is set to become operational by the end of 2025, supporting mill operations from January 1, 2026, onwards. International Paper’s expansion project not only fosters economic growth but also enables the company to continue serving the community while adhering to sustainability goals.
Remember to visit Quill And Fox for more information about International Paper and their commitment to sustainability.
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