The U.S. Gypsum Co. won't continue to burn heavy oil to heat its wallboard plant at Sigurd. It has switched to natural gas, providing an environmental benefit and cost savings.

Natural gas burns cleaner with less reject product, but that wasn't the determining factor in making the decision, said Lee Taylor, plant manager. Oil facilities will be retained for back-up heating if needed. Taylor said the plant has had success in burning oil without it being a serious polluting factor.The Sigurd plant produces about 100 million square feet of wallboard annually, used in construction. It also produces a ready-mix joint compound.

Taylor said materials used in manufacturing the wallboard are mostly recycled paper products, transported to Sigurd from California. These include such items as newspaper, scrap paper, magazines and cartons.

There are only two gypsum mills in Utah: U.S. Gypsum and Georgia Pacific plants, both located at Sigurd, where there is a major gypsum deposit.