It takes an enormous amount of energy to make pulp and paper products. According to Statistics Canada and Natural Resources Canada, the pulp and paper sector accounts for 25 per cent of the total industrial energy consumption, where energy is 20 to 25 per cent of the industry’s manufacturing cost*. As one of Canada’s most energy intensive manufacturing industries, pulp and paper producers have been searching for ways to use energy more efficiently. This makes sound business sense, while also having a significant positive impact on the environment.
Process Integration and Energy Management
Between 2012 and 2017, FPInnovations made great strides towards improving energy efficiency and reducing fossil fuel consumption in nearly all of its member company pulp and paper mills. Partnering with CanmetENERGY, a Natural Resources Canada research center specializing in energy optimization, the team examined 15 pulp and paper mills across Canada. The process integration methodology used takes a global approach to analyzing the consumption and production of energy across the entire facility. In the end, recommendations for projects providing potential energy cost savings of over
$50 million annually were delivered to the participating mills.
Partnering with Allnorth
On-going follow up with the mills found that they readily implemented low complexity and no capital expenditure solutions, but did not always follow through with all of the recommended projects due to resource or knowledge constraints. Significant potential savings were being left on the table. In November of 2017, FPInnovations teamed up with Allnorth, a multi-discipline engineering and technical services company. Collaboration with Allnorth brings added value to members and customers by allowing them to apply the energy intelligence FPInnovations provides to them. “It’s an ideal marriage of complementary skills for a complete solution,” explained Enrique Mateos-Espejel, Scientist, Energy – Process Integration. “FPInnovations and CanmetENERGY carry out energy analyses providing customized lists of energy optimization projects, while Allnorth can provide cost estimates and engineering and project management expertise for implementing investment projects.”
Putting the Partnership into Practice
An FPInnovations’ member company recently had an energy study prepared for them and selected a number of attractive projects that address key energy challenges they have been facing: cutting back energy and water consumption, reducing greenhouse gases, and maximizing profits from power exports. Having an identified energy savings of 1.9 GJ/t and water savings of 7.2 m3/t, these projects will require serious consideration and management. Where assistance is needed, the mill can now engage Allnorth for support with capital cost estimations and for the engineering design and overall management of those projects.
Impressive progress has been made by the pulp and paper industry to offset its significant energy consumption. Fuel costs have been reduced by sourcing approximately 55 to 60 per cent of mills’ energy from biomass* and energy efficiency improvements have drastically reduced the sector’s energy use. However, more is still required for the industry’s long-term global competitiveness and environmental impact. This collaboration supports FPInnovations’ approach to identifying energy management opportunities by enabling the delivery of integrated solutions to mills across North America. As confirmed by former FPInnovations’ President and CEO, Pierre Lapointe, “Our partnership with Allnorth gets those powerful solutions into even more peoples’ hands, which is good news for our industry and the environment.”
For more information, please contact Enrique Mateos-Espejel.