FPInnovations’ partnership with Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetENERGY is revitalizing the Canadian pulp and paper industry by collaborating on integrated energy optimization studies to maximize efficiency, increase the sale of green power, and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). The results have been incredible.
In just six years, the partnership has identified $55-million in potential energy savings annually and added energy-generating opportunities in 15 pulp and paper mills in seven provinces. To date, about 40 percent of identified projects have already been implemented by the mills. CanmetENERGY’s team and their catalogue of tools, such as advanced data analytics and proprietary software, are matched with FPInnovations’ scientists and pulp and paper experts to analyze and model how energy is used and produced throughout the mill. Opportunities are then found to recover and better use heat throughout the plant, as well as reduce the need for purchased fuel. In turn, the steam saved can be used to produce electricity for sale to the grid.
“Our work with CanmetENERGY on integrated energy optimization is an industry collaboration game changer,” says Jean Hamel, vice president, industry and member relations of FPInnovations. “At the heart of the effort is the additional income gained through increased production of electricity from pulp and paper mills.”
“Strengthening the Canadian pulp and paper industry is a priority for Natural Resources Canada,” says Eric Soucy, director of industrial systems optimization for CanmetENERGY. “Teaming with FPInnovations as a strategic partner to achieve major energy gains and related GHG emissions reduction, while improving productivity, is at the centre of positioning mills as part of a bioeconomy.”
In the project execution phase, site visits are an essential aspect of analyzing each mill’s unique operating practices and allows FPInnovations to tailor a one-of-a-kind action plan for each client, which takes into consideration whole energy systems rather than individual components.
“We don’t just do a study and deliver a final report to the mill, says Douglas Singbeil, bio-sourced products sector leader. “We draw a roadmap for mills to follow in the implementation process of our recommendations and continue to touch base with them and provide additional direction as they implement projects.”
Natural Resources Canada and FPInnovations produced a brochure titled, “Strengthening the Canadian Pulp and Paper Industry — Tracking the Impacts of Energy Optimization Studies,” to showcase the process and benefits of the program.
Facilitating mills’ transition to a bioindustry is an FPInnovations and CanmetENERGY hallmark that will help ensure the prosperity of pulp and paper mills for generations to come.