Eastman is committed to improving air quality at all of our manufacturing sites around the world. We are working to reduce our levels of VOC, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, as well as our annual reportable releases and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) emissions.
We recognize in recent years, our progress toward emission reductions has declined, primarily due to recent acquisitions of additional sites and increased production volumes. We continue to work on improvement opportunities. For example, over the last three years, we converted five boilers at two of our domestic sites from coal to natural gas combustion. We plan to convert more boilers over the next few years.
The Kingsport boiler conversion project is the most significant air pollution control project in the history of Eastman. This project will diversify the Kingsport facility’s energy mix from 90% coal to 50% coal and 50% natural gas. It is projected to reduce site greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20%, Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) emissions by 25%, and criteria air pollutants emissions (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides — SO2 and NOx) by 60% from 2010 levels. The greenhouse gas emissions reduced would be equivalent to taking 170,000 cars off the road.
In addition to the Kingsport conversions, we converted another of our coal-fired boilers at our Indian Orchard facility in Springfield, Massachusetts, to natural gas in 2015. With this conversion, we have already reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by 99.9% and have eliminated hydrogen chloride emissions completely. We have been able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% at this site since the natural gas conversion, which is the equivalent of eliminating the GHG emissions from 9,700 cars.
We have also converted two #6 fuel oil boilers to propane at our Chestertown facility in Chestertown, Maryland in 2014. The boiler conversion along with a hot oil unit replacement using propane in place of #6 fuel oil, resulted in a decrease of greenhouse gas emissions by almost 9% and a reduction of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by 62% and 99%, respectively.
Eastman has started using renewable electricity in its Oulu site manufacturing processes. In combination with earlier steps that Oulu took to improve its carbon footprint, the energy supply at the site will now be completely fossil fuel free.
For years, the steam used for Oulu’s manufacturing processes has been generated from non-recyclable municipal waste. In addition, Eastman’s Oulu site will further reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil fuel use and improve its carbon footprint by increasing use of green energy in its manufacturing processes. Simultaneously, Eastman invested in a carbon capture and utilization system, in which carbon dioxide is captured and recycled as a raw material, significantly reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions.