BC paper mills to improve bio-energy generation capacities

Feds fund $18 million mill upgrades for Catalyst Paper

March 1, 2011   by Canadian Manufacturing Daily Staff

RICHMOND, BC–Catalyst Paper has received funding worth $18 million through the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Project (PPGTP) for green-energy projects at its Powell River and Port Alberni mills to produce low-carbon electricity.

Funding was earned by PPGTP credits through production of black liquor at the Crofton pulp operation in 2009.

The $13.3 million Powell River mill project is expected to take about a year to complete and will involve waste-wood handling equipment, a sand recycling system, upgrades to an existing power boiler, including installation of a steam condenser.

“One of the great strengths at the Powell River operation is our clean-burning power boiler. Emissions and air-quality monitoring demonstrate that,” said Bob Lindstrom, vice-president, supply chain, energy and information technology with Catalyst.


The plant’s waste-wood is burned in its PB19 boiler to create steam for paper making and electricity generation. The new steam condenser will allow the boiler to operate at its full capacity, and the G12 generator to double the power from 14 to 18 mega-watts to between 32 and 36 mega-watts.

Bio-generation capacity will now generate the same amount of fossil fuel that would create nearly 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of 25,000 cars. The power from this project will displace electricity generated by natural gas for a net annual reduction of 96,500 tonnes of carbon emissions.

In Port Alberni, $4.7 million will fund three upgrades to the main power boiler will include a secondary air system, a larger “economizer” or heat-exchange system, and a new gas monitoring system.  Work is to be done by October.

Larger and better-designed air nozzles will make boiler combustion more efficient and reduce fuel requirements while improving the operational reliability of the existing equipment.  Fewer economizer outages will reduce the need for a back-up natural gas boiler, and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with it.

More efficient combustion with lower-temperature gas exiting the boiler will reduce emissions of dioxins and other substances. The new gas monitoring system will provide operations with ongoing feedback to optimize the performance of the upgraded boiler.

“We went through an internal evaluation process within our Canadian operations and determined these projects would provide the most value to the company,” says director of energy management Carlo Del Monte.

Catalyst Paper manufactures specialty printing papers, newsprint and pulp. The Richmond, B.C.-based company has four mills in British Columbia and Arizona with a combined annual production capacity of 1.9 million tonnes.

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