It takes a lot to say “history was made” at a place where so much history has literally been manufactured, but that was the case recently at Eastman Business Park. The industrial site that has and continues to produce countless iconic Kodak products over the past century enjoyed another historical milestone when it officially said farewell to using coal to fuel its onsite power plant.
The bitter cold of Tuesday, March 13, 2018, was an afterthought as representatives from Eastman Business Park and RED-Rochester, which owns and operates the utilities infrastructure at the park, acknowledge the last 100 tons of coal to be burned at the park. The event highlighted an $75 million investment to install four new natural gas burning boilers that would run far cleaner and more efficiently.
The new boilers arrived one by one in the fall of 2017. Since then, they have been brought on line gradually to ensure the system was capable of running without coal. With the new system, which includes a new control center with far greater ability to scale usage based on demand, up and running, it was time to make it official.
“This investment marks a huge step forward to decrease our carbon footprint. Eastman Business Park will be completely coal-free for the first time in over 100 years,” said Dolores Kruchten, president, Eastman Business Park and Corporate Real Estate, Eastman Kodak Company. “The conversion to natural gas will reduce CO2 emissions from the plant by 50% and eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions. Nitrogen oxide and particulate will be reduced by more than half, as well. In short, the new system will produce more power with a smaller impact on the environment.”
Benefits Beyond Green
The new system is far more efficient than the legacy boilers, and will help reduce the cost for heavy steam users among the more than 100 tenants at the Park. Tenants at EBP will have this more efficient, more reliable system with no increase to their existing utility rates, and the efficiency experienced over time will result in benefits for all.
The benefits from the project make EBP even more attractive to new industrial tenants that are looking to expand their operations. Companies looking to locate their operation or relocate will see at Eastman Business Park the space they want with the utility support they need to manufacture their products efficiently.
“We see this as a great opportunity for EBP to grow its tenant list, and the more satisfied tenants we have, the more likely we are to attract even more, bringing good jobs and new opportunities to the Rochester region,” Kruchten said. “The most important thing throughout the process was to get it right, and we are thrilled with how this new system positions EBP for future success as an ideal location for heavy steam manufacturers.”