Volume 21 No 4

Table of Contents

Photo of Fabien Demougeot

Fabien Demougeot, Director of Cascades Inc.’s Energy Division at Kingsey Falls in Quebec and incoming CIPEC Chair of the General Manufacturing Task Force for Eastern Canada – Quebec.

CIPEC welcomes Cascades’ Fabien Demougeot as the new General Manufacturing Task Force Chair representing Quebec

“Together we can advocate for government programs that will help our industry reduce its energy intensity thereby making us more competitive and enabling us to meet environmental regulations,” says Fabien Demougeot, Director of Cascades Inc.’s Energy Division at Kingsey Falls in Quebec and incoming CIPEC Chair of the General Manufacturing Task Force for Eastern Canada – Quebec.

Demougeot brings significant energy management experience to the Task Force. He has been with Cascades for thirteen years heading its Energy Division for the past six years. 

Demougeot sees a need to bring the sector members in the region together more frequently. “We need another forum for energy best practices exchange and networking in addition to the biennial Energy Summit.”

Cascades Inc., a manufacturer of packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibres, is a leader in energy management having had an energy management team that has implemented many initiatives over the past 20 years. Cascades’ facilities in Canada and the U.S. all have progressive continuous improvement programs. “With every initiative and project, we learn more about energy efficiency – lessons that we can share with our sector, so that we all advance,” he notes.

Cascades has also established a strategic communication plan that engages upper management and all employees in high-impact initiatives. Demougeot believes that the Task Force can use a similar communication strategy to further enable energy efficiency in industry in Canada.

“As industry, we can also make a difference in terms of the energy supply,” says Demougeot, noting that Cascades, as a major energy consumer, can choose greener sources of energy to work with suppliers who have the best practices in terms of social and environmental responsibility. To support this, the company has a green procurement strategy that applies to all suppliers with whom it has contractual agreements.

While Demougeot has many energy management experiences to share, he says that he is also looking forward to learning about best practices at other CIPEC member sites. He is interested, for example, in what key performance indicators (KPIs) other companies are using and how frequently they follow them.

Demougeot says that “we can all make our operations less energy intensive. Through collaboration and sharing experiences, the industry can be transformed.”

Goldcorp’s Borden Mine to use all-electric underground vehicles

Goldcorp’s Borden Gold Project is set to be the first North American mine to switch all their underground diesel mobile fleet to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). John Mullally, Director of Government Relations & Energy at Goldcorp Canada Ltd., explains that Goldcorp has partnered with Sandvik Mining and Maclean Engineering to custom design a fleet of BEVs that will be used underground at its Borden gold mine near Chapleau in northern Ontario.

“Our electric vehicles will save the company 2 million litres of diesel fuel, 1 million litres of propane and 33,000 megawatt-hours or 50 percent of a mine’s regular electricity consumption per year,” says Mullally. The switch reduces underground ventilation needs by about 50 percent compared to a diesel-fueled underground mine. Moreover, GHG emissions will decrease by 7,000 tonnes in CO2eq annually.

Mullally notes that the primary motivator for choosing BEVs was to improve worker health and safety. “Choosing to use BEVs eliminates all harmful gases and diesel particulate matter in the underground,” says Mullally.

Sandvik Mining and Maclean Engineering will supply a range of BEVs from battery-operated drilling and blasting equipment to electric bolters and personnel carriers, and, ultimately, a 40 tonne battery-powered haul truck, scheduled to be operational in 2019.

Electrification of its other mine sites is the next step in Goldcorp’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. “We are also working with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to develop our understanding of suitable electric vehicles to replace existing diesel equipment. It’s important that we de-risk the use of near commercial technology to the extent possible” says Mullally.

“In many cases BEV technology is already equivalent to diesel equipment. When we take into account health and safety improvements, productivity improvements, reduced maintenance, fuel savings and the elimination of GHG emissions, the equipment makes financial and environmental sense”. But, adds Mullally, “we currently pay a premium for BEVs and there are technological and operational risks associated with the deployment of new technology” mentioning that operators would often prefer to be fast followers rather than leaders in the adoption of innovative technologies.

In addition to BEVs, the Borden Mine will also install ventilation-on-demand, practice compressor-less mining, and use smart control technologies, including tele-remote technology, to maximize equipment use and drive efficiencies.

Mullally says that the Borden Gold project is taking a leadership position in the adoption of clean technology.

Proven Dense Mineral Separation (DMS) technology could offer energy savings for some mines

“DMS is an overlooked yet well-established technology that has applications for certain mineral ores,” says Erin Legault-Seguin, Senior Metallurgist at SGS Minerals Service. He is referring to dense medium separation – a pre-concentration process for hard rock mining operations that could reduce energy consumption significantly.

Legault-Seguin explains that DMS separates minerals according to their specific gravity. It’s a robust process with high-separation efficiency that occurs before grinding on particle sizes between 300 mm to as fine as 500 µm depending on the application.

DMS was developed in the 1940s for coal and diamond mines. Pilot scale studies in the 1980s in Canada also showed efficacy of DMS on spodumene, a lithium ore. Since that time, the process has been further studied in diamond mines where it is still common practice. Legault-Seguin says that lithium and zinc mines have also benefitted from DMS.

SGS conducted many DMS trials on ore samples at its Lakefield, Ontario site such as True North Gems (for ruby recovery) and Nemaska (for lithium processing). In one case, the use of DMS allowed one company, planning a mine expansion, to reject 30 percent of its ore mass. This resulted in less ore to grind and less power needed to grind the softer remaining ore, making the expansion of the mill unnecessary. Legault-Seguin notes that Canadian Zinc is also planning to use DMS for its mines in Yukon and Labrador.

Legault-Seguin notes that the cost-effectiveness of DMS depends on individual mines, adding that the system requires minimal capital investment. He suggests that large-grain, high-density minerals such as galena (lead), sphalerite (zinc) and spodumene (lithium) ores are good candidates for DMS as are sulphide-bearing gold ores and fluorospar mineral systems. A low-cost, bench-scale heavy-liquid separation test on ore samples can indicate if it is amenable to DMS.

In trials, Legault-Seguin has seen up to 60 percent of the ore mass rejected, which means significant energy savings in the subsequent grinding process. “We aim for over 90 percent recovery while rejecting as much waste as possible, typically from 40 to 60 percent of the ore. This significantly reduces the amount of energy required for grinding.”

Legault-Seguin and his colleagues presented their research at the Canadian Mineral Processors conference in 2015 and can be downloaded here.

Manitoba Hydro’s EnerTrend software leads to energy savings

“EnerTrend shows us clearly how we’re using our energy, and provides the information we need to make a business case for implementing energy management measures that will reduce our monthly energy bill,” says Sal Nanda, Chief Engineer at Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

EnerTrend 2.0 is a web-based energy-profiling tool developed by Manitoba Hydro for its large customers. Ryan Aubry, Energy Services Advisor, Major Accounts at Manitoba Hydro, explains that this type of energy profiling allows organizations to be proactive in controlling their energy consumption and ultimately reducing their costs.

The software processes energy data and generates natural gas and electricity use profiles, while also providing peak usage reports. The electricity profiles include demand – kilo volt amp (kVA), consumption – kilowatts (kW), and reactive power – kilo volt amps reactive (kVAR) values, while natural gas profiles track consumption over time. Nanda says that his plant’s operating staff uses EnerTrend to look at how energy consumption varies throughout the day based on what processes are running. “This information helps us reduce our monthly demand peak.”

Organizations can use EnerTrend to identify energy consumption anomalies, which if resolved, can lead to cost-savings. Aubry notes that as a result of energy profiles generated from the software, companies can shift their electricity load to reduce their peak billing demand. They can also compare energy use among facilities, measure the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs, and identify wasteful energy consumption and identify malfunctioning equipment.

In one manufacturing facility, EnerTrend flagged electrical load spikes, which were found to be from the coincident operation of multiple electric furnaces. As a result, a load management strategy was implemented leading to a demand reduction of 400 kW per month.

Aubry notes that Manitoba Hydro currently has about 100 electricity and 20 natural gas customers subscribing to EnerTrend. “The program is most popular with industrial customers who come to us from a variety of sectors, including food and beverage processing, general manufacturing, chemical processing, mining, and pulp and paper.”

EnerTrend is a tool that can be used to identify low-cost opportunities to reduce peak electrical or natural gas demand. “By recognizing usage peaks and high demand periods, our customers have the information needed to develop plans to reduce and track energy consumption, helping Manitoba businesses to manage utility costs and remain profitable,” says Aubry.

For more information on EnerTrend, visit www.hydro.mb.ca/your_business/large_business_solutions/products/enertrend.shtml.

Ontario craft breweries are serious about resource management

“We know breweries are increasingly aware that water is the most important ingredient in their business operations,” says Kevin Jones, President of the BLOOM Centre for Sustainability. “They are starting to recognize the opportunities to save money in the beer-making process by reusing water, capturing free energy and diverting spent yeast and other materials to beneficial end-use applications.”

A 2016 survey of Ontario craft breweries, conducted by BLOOM, supports Jones’ statement indicating that 97 percent of respondents understand the importance of improving their water and resource management not only to address their bottom line but to protect the environment and be proactive community partners.

The survey indicates that respondents are either in the midst of or are planning numerous measures to address resource conservation. Key features include implementing more water efficient practices to reduce water use, diverging materials before they enter the drain, using dry cleaning techniques, monitoring water use in different parts of operations, implementing better wastewater management design, and installing technology to treat wastewater on-site.

To help craft breweries in their efforts to manage water sustainably, BLOOM launched an online platform, Water & Beer that provides them with detailed information on best practices in water management.

As the BLOOM survey has shown, awareness of resource conservation is increasing and there are a myriad of opportunities. Taking action on these opportunities will benefit their business, their local community and the environment.

For more information on the report, visit http://bloomcentre.com/strategic-management-of-water-resources-important-to-ontario-craft-breweries/.

New CIPEC Leaders

Chemicals Sector

Terra Grain Fuels Inc. – Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan

Food and Beverage Sector

Agromex inc. – Ange-Gardien, Québec

Calendar of Events

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