Heads Up CIPEC Newsletter – Volume 19, Issue 3

Volume 19, Issue 3

Catalyst Paper to add power-generating capacity using excess steam

BC Hydro has just launched a new energy efficiency program aimed at reducing the power costs of British Columbia’s thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) producers. The Power Smart program will help improve the energy efficiency of TMP producers, whose electricity costs account for at least 30 percent of their operating budgets.

Kevin Wallace, Industrial Marketing Manager for BC Hydro Power Smart, notes that rising electricity rates are impacting pulp and paper mills, which already face many pressures. “Pursuing energy efficiency projects is one means to mitigate those challenges and contribute to our competitiveness,” states Carlo Dal Monte, Director of Energy at Catalyst Paper, one of B.C.’s TMP-based paper producers and a participant in BC Hydro’s program.

The $25-million-plus capital project will use excess steam to generate power thereby reducing Catalyst’s energy costs by an estimated $5 million annually through the generation of about 67 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity (enough to power 6,400 households per year). Power Smart funding will cover 75 percent of the project costs.

According to Wallace, the 20-year contract with Catalyst will help the company become more energy self-sufficient and will reduce the electricity load on the BC Hydro system.

Dal Monte explains that currently Catalyst’s excess steam is sent directly to the condenser at 65 psi and 120oC. The project will capture the energy in that steam by installing a turbine in the path to the condenser. The thermal energy will be converted to electricity as the steam passes through the turbine before getting to the condenser at close to vacuum state and a temperature of 30–40oC. Wallace notes that the new configuration will allow Catalyst to optimize steam and power generation. Start-up of the system is expected in November, 2015.

For BC Hydro, the TMP program represents one of the most cost-effective options to conserve energy in the province; one that over the long-term will reduce rates for all BC Hydro customers, notes Wallace. The program is expected to reduce electricity purchases by 300 GWh per year for the seven TMP producers, saving them around $17.5 million in annual energy costs.

New CIPEC Leader, Valley Acrylic, innovates and greens its operations

“Energy efficiency is a smart business decision,” says Ravi Beech in charge of Marketing & Business Development at Valley Acrylic, a new CIPEC Leader in the general manufacturing sector. Beech notes that joining CIPEC aligned perfectly with company values. “Like other CIPEC members, we want to be part of the solution.”

Valley Acrylic is a bathroom products manufacturer located in Mission, British Columbia, specializing in acrylic bathtubs, showers, modular bathing systems, shower receptors and fixtures. The company employs 25 people and is situated on two acres of land with a 4,650-square-metre manufacturing plant. 

“With rising electricity rates, investing in energy efficiency measures helps companies like ours stay sustainable and competitive well into the future,” mentions Beech.”

To achieve its energy efficiency goals, the company has partnered with BC Hydro for the past three years. During this time, facility lighting was upgraded from T-5 fluorescent lamps to LED lighting. The compressed air system was tested for leaks. Leaks were repaired, and compressors were upgraded to more efficient models. The acrylic sheet heating ovens were also replaced with high-efficiency models, as was the plant’s boiler.

Valley Acrylic has also been active on the waste reduction front. “We have a huge in-house recycling program. As an example, a high-efficiency paper shredder produces the plant’s packaging. Moreover, we invested nearly $3 million to create a machine that enables us to be a zero-waste facility,” says Beech. The plant recycles all its acrylic waste to produce a new material that is featured as an “Enviroline.” “It was worth the investment to keep the acrylic waste out of the landfill,” she notes.

Beech says that Valley Acrylic will continue to focus on research and development in green technologies and lean manufacturing as it expands its operations. She adds, “We want to be leaders in these aspects.” The company also has a number of energy efficiency measures planned for the near future, including retrofitting some of their equipment motors with variable frequency drives.

Beech states that the company’s goal is to keep manufacturing, from start to finish, in Canada, and to ensure that it meets high ethical and environmental standards. “We are devoted to being a sustainable partner with the environment while focusing on customer needs.”

Skjodt-Barrett gears up for energy savings

CIPEC welcomes another leader to the partnership. Skjodt-Barrett, now a Leader in the food and beverage sector, is looking to continue its sustainability journey by sharing with other CIPEC members, and also gaining best practices and expertise. Pal Shah, the company’s Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives, says that, “energy efficiency is an important piece in our company’s goal to be as green as possible.

Skjodt-Barrett, located in Brampton, Ontario, produces food products such as sauces, glazes, toppings and fillings. It also has a contract manufacturing division, which engages in product development, packaging and food ingredient manufacturing for foodservice operators. The company employs between 200 and 250 people with a six-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day production schedule.

The 18,674-square-metre facility consolidates the five buildings occupied by the manufacturer at its previous site into one manufacturing, warehouse and office space. Shah notes that several pieces of equipment were upgraded upon arrival at the site in early 2015, and many more upgrades are planned as the company gears up to full production.

To date, a new roof-top water chiller was installed and a new, high-efficiency boiler was added to the existing two. The company also insulated all steam pipes and upgraded some of them for additional energy savings. A complete lighting retrofit was done, replacing a variety of halogen and T-12 lamps with high-efficiency T-8 lights. Shah says that, while installing electrical meters is planned for the future, they nonetheless monitor electricity use by analyzing information from a data logger.

“ We have several projects in mind once we are in full production,” states Shah, adding that the company is looking forward to learning from other CIPEC member-companies about energy efficiency practices and innovations that could be adapted for their plant.

New partnership between MAC and CIPEC to facilitate energy efficiency measures

The agreement offers cost-shared assistance to members of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to achieve a level A rating in the energy use and GHG management protocol as defined in MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining Initiative.

To achieve the level A rating a facility must show that its management system includes assigned accountability from senior management, and that it has a process in place to ensure energy data is reviewed regularly and fully integrated into operator actions. Facilities are also expected to provide energy awareness training and have systems in place to track and report energy use and GHG emissions data for both internal and external reporting. Finally, facilities must establish and meet targets for their energy use and GHG emissions performance. 

Ben Chalmers, Vice-President MAC, says that the funding arrangement emerged from discussions between MAC and CIPEC. “Funding was already in place to assist mines in ISO 50001 implementation; extending it to mines that want to achieve Levels A, AA and AAA, is a great benefit for the industry”.

NRCan’s ecoENERGY Efficiency for Industry initiative, through CIPEC, will provide financial assistance of up to 50 percent of eligible costs to a maximum of $40,000.

Eligible costs include the development of an energy baseline for facilities, energy use assessment, and energy performance monitoring and reporting. Funding also covers professional fees and salaries of internal employees training for work related to the implementation of pilot or energy management projects. Equipment purchases and capital projects are not eligible.

“This partnership is great for membership and industry,” states Chalmers. “It will not only improve energy efficiency and GHG emissions but it also acknowledges the value of MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining Initiative.”

Sarah Stinson, Director of the Industry and Transportation Division at NRCan, mentions that “the Mining Association of Canada’s Energy Use and GHG Emissions Management Protocol is aligned with NRCan’s objective to increase the adoption of Energy Management Systems by Canadian industry, which in turn will lead to reduced energy costs, improved competitiveness and GHG emissions reduction.”

News of the cost-sharing agreement has already been shared with many MAC members, who are interested in pursuing more energy efficiency measures. A webinar held in February provided initial information about the arrangement and the benefits to members. Chalmers notes that another webinar is planned in the near future with more information on the application process.

“Barely announced, the agreement is already drawing positive responses from MAC members, says Chalmers. “Our members clearly see the benefits of participation.”

Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program extended until 2016

Participation in the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) Program has been extended to March 31, 2016 and provides Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers with significantly reduced energy costs. The initial NIER Program ended on March 31, 2013 and provided around $340 million in electricity rebates. The extended program will have an annual budget of $120 million for electricity price relief and will be subject to the approval of annual program funding.

By decreasing operational costs, such as electricity consumption, the largest forestry, mining and steel production companies can also sustain and create jobs while maintaining global competitiveness. The NIER program is part of the government's plan to strengthen Northern Ontario’s economy and encourage investment and innovation in the region.

Companies that participated in the NIER Program between 2010 and 2013 and those that entered into a NIER Program agreement before December 14, 2012 are eligible to apply to the extended NIER Program. Applications that were eligible but could not be considered under the original NIER Program will now be accepted and assessed. New applicants will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis and as funding becomes available.

Participants must develop and implement an Energy Management Plan (EMP) to manage their energy use, detailing proposed steps and methods for improving electrical efficiency and sustainability over the duration of the program.

NIER program participants receive a rebate of two cents per kilowatt hour, with individual rebates capped at an amount as specified in the facility’s EMP, or $20 million per year per company – whichever is lower. On average, industrial electricity prices can be reduced by up to 25 percent through the program.

The benefits of participating in the NIER Program go far beyond energy savings and include increased system efficiency, improved equipment performance, reduced maintenance costs and decreased environmental impact. Moreover, with the development of an EMP, Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers have the opportunity to commit to and implement long-term efficiency and sustainability measures.

For more information, visit the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) Program webpage.

Hecla Québec’s Casa Berardi Mine to be partly powered by forest biomass

Hecla Québec’s Casa Berardi mine will become the first underground mine in Quebec to be heated by forest biomass. The pilot project, launched by Norforce Énergie in partnership with Hecla Québec, is underway and aims to use residual forestry biomass as a source of energy.

Hecla Québec has been operating the Casa Berardi mine north of La Sarre, Quebec, for several years. With this new partnership, the company hopes to generate even more economic activity over the long-term for the local community. “We strive to go beyond our mining activities by facilitating the development of a new growth sector. We would be very pleased if we could leave this as a legacy in the region, ” says Josée Plouffe, the company’s regional Communications Coordinator.

Christian Léveillé, Director General at Norforce, a company specializing in the production, storage and sales of forestry biomass, explains that the $3 million innovative project includes $1.1 million in financial support from Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources. It is also expected that 2,732 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) will be avoided by using biomass instead of fossil fuels. The pilot project will be carried out over 2015.

Plouffe says Hecla Québec is particularly interested in this project not only because the company would be using sustainable energy, but also because the project has the potential to contribute to community and regional development.  

Léveillé explains that two heat exchange units are currently being tested with wood chips as the feedstock at the Casa Berardi mine site. Plouffe notes that if the pilot is successful, the company can eventually replace up to 80 percent of fossil fuel use with forest biomass. She explains that the number of BTUs consumed and the cost to buy fuel will stay the same but the fuel source will be sustainable. Another advantage is that the use of forest biomass could allow the company to purchase carbon credits.

Once the project is completed, and after the pilot project conclusions are drawn, the mine estimates that with the seven heat exchangers in place, the combustion of approximately 6,000 tonnes of forest biomass will replace around 4.2 MW of power.

Plouffe notes that this kind of partnership is important for long-term development in the region. Energy from biomass could serve other industries in the area as well. “By replacing 80 percent of the fossil fuel with biomass, Hecla Québec will contribute to the growth of this sector of activity,” she says.

Dollars to $ense Energy Management workshops – spring schedule

Energy Efficiency Financing
Date: April 29
Location: Guelph, Ontario
Offered in collaboration with the Upper Grand District School Board
Register on the Dollars to $ense registration page

Spot the Energy Savings Opportunities
Date: May 1
Location: Guelph, Ontario
Offered in collaboration with the Upper Grand District School Board
Register on the Dollars to $ense registration page

Energy Management Planning
Date: May 4
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Offered in collaboration with Langara College
To register, call the Langara College’s Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604-323-5322

Spot the Energy Savings Opportunities
Date: May 5
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Offered in collaboration with Langara College
To register, call the Langara College’s Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604-323-5322

Energy Monitoring
Date: May 6
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Offered in collaboration with Langara College
To register, call the Langara College’s Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604-323-5322

Energy Management Information Systems
Date: May 7
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Offered in collaboration with Langara College
To register, call the Langara College’s Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604-323-5322

Recommissioning for Buildings
Date: May 8
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Offered in collaboration with Langara College
To register, call the Langara College’s Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604-323-5322

Energy Efficiency Financing
Date: May 9
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Offered in collaboration with Langara College
To register, call the Langara College’s Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604-323-5322

Energy Management Information Systems
Date: May 20
Location: Guelph, Ontario
Offered in collaboration with the Upper Grand District School Board
Register on the Dollars to $ense registration page

Energy Efficiency Financing – Offered in French
Date: May 20
Location: Bromont, Quebec
Offered in collaboration with IBM Canada Ltée, Usine de Bromont
Register on the Dollars to $ense registration page

Recommissioning for Buildings
Date: June 15
Location: Guelph, Ontario
Offered in collaboration with the Upper Grand District School Board
Register on the Dollars to $ense registration page

Notice: Please allow eight to 10 weeks from the planning to the delivery of a customized Dollars to $ense workshop.

CIPEC in partnership with OMAFRA are holding an energy efficiency session in Guelph on May 21

Don’t pass up on this chance to learn about the latest in energy management best practices and available resources that will help your organization stay competitive. 

Date: May 21 – 7:30am to 10:00am
Venue: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
1 Stone Road West, Guelph Ontario

For more information:
Anita Kuipers, Senior Industry Officer, Industry and Transportation Division, Natural Resources Canada
anita.kuipers@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

Or

Phil Dick, Business Resource Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
phil.dick@ontario.ca

Complete list of industrial events

Call for story ideas

Has your company implemented successful energy efficiency measures that you would like to share with Heads Up CIPEC readers? Please send your story ideas for consideration to the editor, Jocelyne Rouleau, by e-mail at jocelyne.rouleau@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca.

If you require more information on an article or a program, contact Jocelyne Rouleau at the above e-mail address.

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