Smurfit-Stone, La Tuque, QC

The Smurfit-Stone plant located in La Tuque, QC, is a large integrated paperboard plant producing white-top board, fully-bleached board and food board. After several years of gradual energy efficiency improvements, it became apparent that the plant’s thermal energy use was still very high compared to that of similar paperboard plants.

Smurfit-Stone therefore enlisted the help of CanmetENERGY in order to conduct an analysis of its energy and water systems, using a global process integration approach. Process integration methods go well beyond the traditional energy audits that had been performed at the plant up until that point. This site-wide approach takes a systematic look at all the ways energy is used throughout a facility and how its various system components interact with one another.

Substantial Savings

The process integration study allowed identifying several heat recovery and effluent reduction opportunities. A total of 19 heat recovery and water management projects were identified, of which 12 were selected by plant personnel as being the most valuable to their energy-saving objectives, allowing to:

  • Reduce steam demands by 37 tonnes per hour
  • Reduce energy consumption by 850 TJ, equal to 15% of the plant’s annual oil and natural gas use
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 50,000 tonnes per year
  • Reduce operational costs by $6 million per year, with payback periods of less than 10 months for most heat recovery projects

Process integration techniques used in this study, such as Pinch analysis, can be applied to any industrial facility with complex thermal energy-intensive systems.

To learn more about this project or for additional information about process integration and Pinch analysis, download the:

CanmetENERGY experts also conducted process integration studies in other Canadian pulp and paper plants. For more information, see the list of success stories for that industrial sector.