PaperWorks invests $3.5 million to maximize Wabash, Indiana plant efficiency; earns Duke Energy incentive

Share This Story

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – PaperWorks Industries has made a strategic investment of approximately $3.5 million to reduce its energy consumption at its Wabash operations.

The result earned the company a $1.13 million incentive payment from Duke Energy’s Smart$aver® Custom program, which helps reduce the purchase and installation costs of high-efficiency equipment.

Smart$aver aims to lower power consumption and the need to build new power plants, thereby lowering costs for all Duke Energy customers.

A significant portion of the Wabash plant’s power consumption is dedicated to stock cleaning -- preparing paper to recycle it into the next generation of materials. PaperWorks overhauled its energy-intensive pulp recycling system, eliminating unnecessarily large motors and pumps. The result was an increase in efficiency and an 11 percent reduction of electricity consumption.

“We were able to make changes that improved our efficiency but still maintain high product quality and production rates,” said Chris Wetherford, general manager of PaperWorks Industries. “We factor environmental responsibility into all of our decisions and try to look at the big picture while operating in a way that’s good for our business as well as the environment.”

In 2016, Duke Energy awarded businesses participating in the Smart$aver program approximately $12 million in incentives for projects that reduced energy consumption by approximately 97,000 megawatt-hours.

The greenhouse gas reductions from those savings are the equivalent of taking more than 14,000 cars off the road for a year. The program is part of the company’s overall energy efficiency offerings, which include an array of programs for homeowners and businesses.

“Energy efficiency is one of the least expensive energy resources,” said Shawn South, Duke Energy account executive. “The most economical power plant is the one we don’t have to build, and programs like this help us delay building new plants, which helps manage costs for all of our customers.”

About PaperWorks Industries Inc. 

PaperWorks Industries is a leading, integrated North American full-service provider of recycled paperboard and specialized folding cartons for packaging applications. The company also is committed to the highest sustainable forestry and procurement standards. Product certifications include the Forest Stewardship Council and 100 percent Recycled Paperboard Alliance. For more information:

Wabash, Indiana, mill production

PaperWorks manufactures 100 percent recycled content--coated recycled board--at its Wabash, Indiana, paper mill. At a separate location, this board is converted into folding cartons for a wide variety of packaging applications. “Folding carton” is an industry term for a secondary packaging container. A cereal or cracker box is an example of a folding carton, not to be confused with a corrugated case (large brown box used to ship products).

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide about 6,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 820,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’s largest electric supplier.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Angeline Protogere

Office: 317.838.1338 | 24-Hour: 800.559.3853