MISSION VIEJO, Calif., Nov. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- James Hardie Building Products Inc. (NYSE: JHX) today announced the receipt of a federal grant worth $756,000 to help offset the cost of updating its fiber cement recycling operations in Peru, IL. James Hardie was awarded the grant by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) as part of the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) administers a portfolio of programs under the State Energy Plan that is designed to invest in the development of Illinois' green economy including renewable energy resources, energy efficiency, green buildings, biofuels and more. The money received through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed DCEO's State Energy Office to develop new programs and expand current programs in order to fund cost-effective energy projects that create and retain Illinois jobs, reduce energy consumption and costs, increase renewable energy capacity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The grant money will offset the cost of equipping James Hardie's trim manufacturing plant in Peru, IL, with new, more efficient fiber cement recycling machines. The hi-tech new equipment will collect and reclaim off-specification HardieTrim® XLD® boards and fiber cement dust for use in James Hardie's new line of crown mouldings: HardieTrim® Crown Mouldings.
"It's a great example of how sustainability can be good for business," said Tom Jagiella, trim engineering manager at James Hardie. "Sometimes errors occur during the manufacturing process, which result in boards that don't measure up to James Hardie's quality standards. The standard practice within the industry is that off-spec boards are sent to a landfill. With this equipment we're able to convert them into high-quality marketable products." The new equipment will allow James Hardie to improve this process.As a new addition to James Hardie's lineup of fiber cement products, HardieTrim® Crown Mouldings represent less than one percent of the output of the Peru, IL, facility and are currently produced using only recycled materials. " Illinois is a leader in the green energy revolution," said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. "This funding will not only provide a boost to the state's energy efforts during a critical time, but will also create greater opportunities to put more people to work and grow Illinois' economy. Our targeted investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and green manufacturing will pay dividends for workers today, as well as future generations." The project qualified for DCEO/ARRA funding in the category of "Recycled Content Products," which is considered part of "Green Industry". The $756,000 grant will cover 50 percent of the $1.5 million projected cost of equipping the facility. The remaining 50 percent will be covered by James Hardie. The State Energy Plan is providing more than $100 million in grants statewide, resulting in more than 12,000 green sector jobs being created over the next two years and leveraging almost $1 billion in investment. More information about the State Energy Plan administered by DCEO's State Energy Office is at www.ildceo.net. Introduced in 2010, HardieTrim Crown Mouldings can be used in various applications such as, a decorative trim transition from frieze board to soffit, window headers and as a gable trim accent. When using a HardieTrim Crown Moulding with ColorPlus® Technology you will maintain a beautiful consistent, durable color; unmatched by field painting or third party pre-finishers. HardieTrim crown mouldings also come with a 15-year limited, transferable product warranty.