NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.–Toray Plastics (America), Inc., (www.toraytpa.com), is now operating a second cogeneration system at its 70-acre North Kingstown, Rhode Island, campus. A ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 25 was hosted by Mike Brandmeier, President and CEO, who welcomed Mr. Kazuo Morimoto, Chief Executive Representative to the Americas, Toray Industries (America), Inc., Mr. Tsutomu Himeno, Consul General of Japan, Lincoln D. Chafee, Governor of Rhode Island, M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, Senate President, Nicholas A. Mattiello, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and John Isberg, Director of Community and Customer Management, National Grid Rhode Island.
The new cogeneration system produces electricity and steam for the Torayfan polypropylene film division and steam for the Lumirror polyester film division. It was operational in August and will enable Toray to continue uninterrupted manufacturing during an unexpected local power outage, such as can occur under severe weather conditions like those of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The first cogeneration system, which was installed in 2003, together with the new facility will produce 145,000,000 kWh and reduce CO2 by an estimated 25,000 tons annually.
In his remarks that day Brandmeier spoke of Toray Plastics (America)’s longevity and legacy of success, which he attributed in large part to the commitment and dedication of Toray employees and its close partnerships with governmental officials and agencies and state-based business. He also talked about the kind of investments a business needs in order to compete in a global economy. “We need to continue to be at the cutting edge of new technology. We need to find ways to make new investments that shore up our cost structure, that allow us to expand in a high cost area, and yet still be the lowest cost producer.” He then cited Toray’s US$2 million investment in 2011 in its solar farm and the US$23 million investment in the new cogeneration facility, which included funds from the State of Rhode Island and National Grid.
Governor Chafee said, “This new combined heat and power facility will lower energy costs, reduce air pollution and support local jobs. Working with businesses such as Toray to achieve these benefits has been one of my administration’s highest priorities and I am thrilled to see the plant come on line.”
Senate President Paiva-Weed said that the Senate has been proud to count Toray as a partner in its efforts to strengthen the state’s overall economy. She recalled Toray’s investment in its solar farm, noted its model partnership with the University of Rhode Island to meet a need for a highly skilled workforce, and applauded Toray’s emphasis on clean energy as a means to help lower business costs, maintain jobs, and benefit the environment.
Mr. Morimoto, Mr. Himeno, Mr. Mattiello, and Mr. Isberg also spoke of the power of collaboration between business and government. Mr. Mattiello noted that Toray has always been on the leading edge of finding ways to be a great corporate neighbor. Mr. Isberg said that the cogeneration project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when leaders in both sectors focus on the goal of improving the state’s economic and environmental health.
The US$22.7 million project was paid for by Toray and with funds from National Grid’s Energy Efficiency Program, developed in collaboration with the state of Rhode Island. National Grid supplies 100 percent of the electricity distributed to Toray beyond Toray’s own cogenerated electricity. Toray’s sustainability initiative, begun in 2004, includes the use of solar power, zero landfill, and extensive recycling, among other features.
Toray Plastics (America), Inc., is a leading manufacturer of polyester, polypropylene, bio-based films, and metallized films for flexible and rigid packaging, lidding, graphic, industrial, optical, and electronic applications. The company is a subsidiary of Toray Industries, Inc., the world leader in synthetic fibers and textiles, carbon fibers, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and high-performance films, which has annual sales exceeding US$19 billion. For more information about Toray Plastics (America)’s value-added films, contact Mary Gervais at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-667-2281. Toray Plastics (America), Inc., is located at 50 Belver Avenue, North Kingstown, RI 02852-7500; telephone 401-294-4511, fax 401-294-3410. Visit the Toray Plastics (America), Inc., website at www.toraytpa.com.