May 2014 Vol. XVIII, No. 5
Second 3M Canada plant to achieve ISO 50001 certification
3M Canada’s London plant is about to become the company’s second ISO 50001 compliant facility. The plant was internally certified to the international standard in January 2014, and will be third-party certified by May. Andrew Hejnar, 3M Canada’s Corporate Energy Manager, explains that this is the next step in a journey that will see all of the company’s facilities in Canada ISO 50001 certified by 2016.
“We have been on the sustainability journey for many years already,” says Hejnar, noting that the company started its first energy management group in the 1970s, which has evolved into the current sustainability group that Hejnar now heads. 3M updates its sustainability goals every five years, having set its 2015 goals in 2010 (the base year). Year 2015 goals include a 15 percent reduction in waste, a 25 percent reduction in energy consumption and a 5 percent decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, all indexed to net sales. “By 2011, we had improved our energy consumption by 32 percent and our GHG reduction by 55 percent across all of our facilities,” says Hejnar.
He explains that energy efficiency came into focus at the London plant in 2011-2012. Since that time, lighting has been retrofitted, the building envelope has been improved, steam traps were audited – leaks detected and repaired – and compressed air audits were conducted. Preventative maintenance became a key component in achieving energy efficiency results. With all of these and more energy conservation initiatives, the London facility – the company’s biggest energy user in Canada – is now in second place of all 3M facilities around the world when it comes to energy performance improvements.
Hejnar notes that the certification process closely followed the Brockville plant’s ISO certification schedule. 3M’s Brockville plant was the first facility in Canada to be Superior Energy Performance (SEP) and ISO 50001 certified and thus, provided a good template.
The process started with an initial energy audit, the subsequent presentation of a business case to upper management, followed by gap analysis and implementation. Hejnar explains that the London plant already had a number of systems in place that would support ISO 50001 such as a document control system, and it was already certified to ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. A work plan was then created with specific, assigned tasks and delivery dates prior to the internal audit.
“The plant’s energy performance has far exceeded our goals,” says Hejnar, adding that the facility has surpassed the company’s global corporate goal for its facilities around the world. In fact, the London facility won 3M’s Platinum award last year and this year.
For its efforts, the facility also won the 2013 U.S. ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, which challenges companies to reduce their energy consumption by 10 percent over 2012, a goal that 3M London beat with a 13.2 percent reduction. Hejnar notes that this kind of motivation will drive continual improvement at the London facility and other Canadian and international 3M plants.
First forest sector application of anaerobic hybrid digester technology at Millar Western to generate renewable energy
“We’ve always been focused on environmental performance in our operations; this project will allow us to go even further to the next level,” says Janet Millar, Director of Communications at Millar Western Forestry Products Ltd. She is referring to the bioenergy project now underway at the company’s Whitecourt, Alberta, pulp mill. Ron Reis, the company’s Senior Vice President, Pulp, adds that the project – the installation of new technology to improve effluent treatment while generating bioenergy for use as an alternative to fossil fuels – also promises a significant economic benefit.
Millar Western, based in Edmonton, a CIPEC Leader in the Forest Products sector, is one of Canada’s largest, family-owned forest companies, producing 320 000 tonnes of hardwood and softwood high-yield pulps, and 550 million board-feet of lumber annually. The company runs mill and woodland operations in Boyle, Fox Creek and Whitecourt, Alberta.
Millar Western is installing innovative anaerobic hybrid digester (AHD) technology ahead of an existing aerobic effluent treatment system at the pulp mill. The AHD system will remove additional organic material from the effluent stream and convert it to a biogas used to fuel an on-site power station. The power station will co-generate and use 34 776 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, along with substantial quantities of heat, both of which will displace purchased energy in mill processes. In addition to replacing purchased energy, the bioenergy project will allow the mill to reduce its overall power consumption.
Millar and Reis note that the project is timely as transmission costs are on the rise in Alberta, where electricity is already deregulated and prices are volatile. Moreover, since most of Alberta’s power supply comes from fossil fuels, becoming less reliant on the grid by using renewable energy will benefit Millar Western both economically and environmentally.
“We estimate that we will reduce emissions of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 9 000 tonnes directly through the reduction of on-site emissions, and by another 31 000 tonnes indirectly, through the reduced consumption of fossil-fuel-based, purchased energy,” states Millar. Other expected benefits include a 70 percent decrease in polymer, nitrogen and phosphorus used in mill processes, a 7 percent decrease in natural gas consumption as well as a 10 percent reduction in fresh water consumption. Moreover, annual fuel consumption for hauling and disposal of the mill’s solid biomass waste will be reduced by 50 percent.
Reis notes that, in 2013, the three digester tanks were erected, the foundation prepared and modules fabricated for a utility bridge built to transport electrical cable, the steam line and effluent. “Ninety percent of the equipment has already been purchased and is on site; it is a matter of installation,” notes Reis. Millar western expects to resume construction within the next few weeks.
Reis explains that the project was made possible through grants including the federal Industrial Forestry Innovation Fund (IFIT), which reduces the risk of adopting new technologies. The IFIT program, launched in 2010, supports the Canadian forest industry to become more competitive and environmentally sustainable by de-risking and adopting innovative technologies.
“This project will mark the first application of anaerobic hybrid digester technology in Canada’s forest sector on a commercial scale,” says Jean-François Levasseur, Director and Senior Engineering Advisor with IFIT. “In fact, it has never been applied before to a pulp or paper facility in North America, South America or Europe.”
Reis notes that the company is not new to energy efficiency initiatives. “Since 2008, the mill has reduced its total energy consumption by 15 percent through a combination of process and equipment changes,” says Reis. This new project continues the company’s tradition of continuous improvement – of always taking it to the next level.
Partner Technologies works for energy efficiency inside and out
George Partyka, CEO, Partner Technologies Incorporated (PTI), explains that “we have been conscious of the environment from day one. In its early days, when PTI serviced and repaired oil-filled transformers, responsible recycling was already part of everyday business. As the company moved into manufacturing distribution transformers, the focus was placed on continually increasing the electrical efficiency of these transformers.”
Located in Regina, Saskatchewan, PTI (incorporated in 1989) manufactures transformers for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors in its 9 290 square-metre facility. About 125 employees work five days a week, year-round. The company, a CIPEC Leader in the Electrical and Electronics sector, is certified to ISO 9001 and is currently seeking to be compliant to both ISO 14001 and 18001.
Towards its goal to offer highly efficient products, PTI had developed and manufactured over 7000 high-efficiency amorphous core transformers for the utility industry with ratings of up to 3000 kilo-volt amperes (KVA) that significantly reduce the amount of energy required to energize the transformer. Partyka notes that for industrial applications, higher grades of steel are also used to increase efficiency and reduce noise levels. PTI also manufactures substation solutions including transformers and protective devices that have a highly-reduced footprint, and “get rid of the NIMBY (not in my backyard) factor. Moreover, these high-efficiency transformer solutions save space, and reduce construction and energy costs,” says Partyka.
He notes that while it is always important that the company contribute to the environment, it is also time to look within its own manufacturing facility for avenues to improve energy efficiency. As a member of the CIPEC Executive Board, Partyka mentions that the membership is an important component in the company’s internal drive to green itself. “At CIPEC I can learn about best practices, get new ideas, information and assistance from my colleagues on the board.”
Some improvements have already been started. Existing mercury vapour, fluorescent and sodium lighting are being replaced with LED lighting over the next two years. “We are also installing higher efficiency furnaces and will be looking at waste-heat recovery for ambient heat.”
Partyka adds that although still in its infancy, the company is gradually implementing an energy management system in anticipation of adopting the ISO 50001 standard. “By adopting the standard, we will be formalizing and expanding many of the procedures that already exist which contribute to sound energy management. With ISO 50001, we would like to bring everything under one standard’s umbrella. Our goal is to make a seamless transition and incorporate the standard into daily work life,” he concludes.
Focus is on employee awareness at Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill
“Energy efficiency is an integral part of our business strategy and a key means to increase the company’s profitability,” says Annie Quevillon, Energy Manager at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill in Thurso, Quebec. Quevillon explains that the mill has a number of initiatives that focus on reducing reliance on fossil fuels, among which employee awareness about energy, is a key element.
The mill, a CIPEC Leader in the Forest Products sector, employs approximately 330 workers and is situated on about 800 acres of land. It operates 24/7 year-round with an annual production capacity of about 200 000 of air-dried metric tonnes (ADMT) of specialty cellulose or dissolving pulp. The mill also has a cogeneration facility that sells green electricity to Hydro Quebec.
“We understand that an overall strategy for continuous improvement must be in place for long-term sustainability,” notes Marco Veilleux, Vice-President of Business Development and Strategic Projects, adding that employee awareness and involvement are integral to such a strategy. Thermal plant operators, for example, have already been trained on energy efficiency and efficient fuel choice. Other employees have attended workshops that explain the company’s energy efficiency goals and everyone can see real-time energy use on dashboards that are located throughout the mill.
Veilleux says that the awareness campaign is being integrated into the existing communication system so that issues around waste management and energy efficiency can be shared with employees. In addition, employees are encouraged to share their ideas and concerns about energy use at various forums held at the mill. “There are regular department meetings as well as management and department representatives weekly and monthly meetings. We want to establish a feedback loop that quickly leads to the implementation of suggestions,” says Quevillon.
Raising employee awareness bears fruit. For example, thermal plant operators were made aware of the savings achievable with fuel substitution. When the fuel mix was changed for just one of the mill’s boilers over a period of two weeks, several thousand dollars in bunker C oil were saved. “A no cost, employee-involvement solution,” notes Veilleux. Other examples abound such as a pilot project in which the cycle times of the energy intensive steps of one of the mill’s processes were coordinated without impacting the rate of production. This resulted in energy savings of close to $25,000 for one month alone. “We are aiming to incorporate energy efficiency into our corporate culture; we want to automate this behaviour,” says Quevillon.
The recent creation of Quevillon’s position was another important step in the mill’s goal to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Veilleux says that “the company’s management is convinced that having an energy manager is part of the winning path as it will support the employee awareness campaign, the implementation of projects and ensure follow-up.”
BC Hydro Power Smart offers efficient self-serve option for small and medium enterprise (SME) lighting and compressed air projects
It’s a no-brainer. That sums up how BC Hydro customers feel about the utility’s Self-Serve Incentive Program (SIP), its accessibility and quick approval time. Launched in January 2012, SIP serves BC Hydro’s industrial medium sized electric consumers – customers that use more than 500 megawatt-hours of electricity annually or spend around $25,000. SIP provides financial incentives for compressed air system (between 40- and 200-hp) and lighting retrofits.
Robert Raymond, BC Hydro Industrial Marketing Program Manager, explains that the initial engineering reviews for SIP have been automated allowing the majority of projects to pass without having to go through a time consuming manual review. The whole system has been streamlined and most components, such as final reports, are standardized and come in a template form. “All this makes the process very user-friendly and fast,” he notes.
“Customers get an estimate right away and approval within a week is quite possible,” continues Raymond. Including initial assessments and the time for project implementation, projects can be completed in two to three months.
Brent Pottage, Plant Manager at Vancouver Island Brewery, says he was delighted with the ease of applying for the incentive. Pottage applied for and received an $18,900 incentive for a lighting retrofit. The 400-watt metal halide lights in the brewery’s Victoria, British Columbia plant were replaced with T-8 fixtures saving an estimated 130 000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Pottage is impressed: “we've increased production, but our BC Hydro bill has gone down." The brewery is also saving money on maintenance costs and the new fixtures, producing much more natural lighting, have made a positive impact on employees.
For the 2013 fiscal year, 150 completed projects saved 12.8 Gigawatt hours (GWh) with the program, 2014 fiscal year saved 14.4 GWh and Raymond expects the program to save close to 16 GWh in fiscal 2015. He explains that many SIP projects come from the food and beverage and general manufacturing sectors. Larger industries, such as pulp and paper that have specific lighting and compressed air upgrades in mind, can also access the program. The average incentive per project is about $20,000 although it can reach $100,000 for large projects.
Raymond says that. “BC Hydro is planning to continue to grow the program by making it even better and more streamlined. We continue to evolve the SIP to further increase the speed to make energy efficiency projects happen.”
CEEC: the one-stop shop for comminution efficiency in the mining industry
“Comminution, as the major energy user in mineral processing, is responsible for the majority of processing costs at a mine,” says Sarah Bocaut, Executive Officer of the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) based in Melbourne, Australia. CEEC aims to provide the most current and best-in-class research and data that will allow companies to make a solid business case to become more energy-efficient using alternative comminution strategies.”
Comminution, an important part of mineral processing, is the reduction of solid materials to a small average particle size by crushing, grinding, and other processes. CEEC’s mission is to raise awareness on research findings and proven applications of efficient and innovative comminution strategies with the goal to lower processing costs and improve the profitability of the mining industry.
Officially launched in 2011, the CEEC was born out of industry discussions and an acknowledgement of the comminution’s high energy consumption. In fact, it is estimated that up to five percent of the world’s electrical energy is used in the comminution process; therefore any efficiency gains will have a significant business impact.
Six leading research institutions, including the University of British Columbia, are focused on research into improving energy efficiency of the milling process. It has already shown that improved or “smart” blasting, pre-concentration, and new grinding techniques can improve efficiency and lower energy costs significantly.
A number of global mining companies support CEEC, have adopted more efficient processes and are reaping the benefits. For example, Barrick Gold Corporation achieved a 6.3 percent energy use reduction in 2013 for each of three mines by improving the comminution circuit. According to Ivan Mullany, Senior Vice-President, Capital Projects at Barrick, the improvements were quite simple in many cases – “just a reconfiguration of the circuit.”
Mullany notes that “we are very aware of how energy is used and not to waste it.” Peter Kondos, Barrick Senior Director, Strategic Solutions, agrees, noting that energy represents up to 40 percent of a mine’s cost base especially for high altitude and remote mines where diesel power plants are used. Given that energy prices will only increase and ore grades are falling, the industry has to focus on controllable costs, such as energy. Mullany notes that “by increasing the energy efficiency of comminution, we can decrease the cost per tonne of product.”
Flynn McCarthy, Corporate Energy Manager at GoldCorp Inc., another CEEC sponsor, notes that for his company, “energy efficiency is a key strategic business objective.” GoldCorp has also seen significant reduction in energy consumption by increasing the comminution circuit using high pressure grinding roll technology.
McCarthy believes that CEEC can be instrumental in spreading the word about proven technologies and comminution best practices. “Once there is sufficient knowledge, mining companies will be quick to adopt and move to holistic energy management. A global view needs to be taken to improve overall efficiency. Ultimately, if we collaborate as an industry through platforms like CEEC, the industry as a whole will be more robust.”
Bocaut agrees, noting that in addition to CEEC acting as a conduit between research and the operational arena, the organization also aims to produce communication tools for non-technical decision-makers. “CEEC’s Resource Center contains over 150 individually selected technical papers addressing efficiency in comminution as well as a range of non-technical reports that capture the core business opportunities,” says Bocaut. Moreover, CEEC strongly endorses work by the Global Mining Standards Group to benchmark comminution performance.
CEEC’s website offers easy access to efficiency-related comminution papers, as well as an industry roadmap developed at a recent CEEC Workshop. “CEEC wants to create a culture of shared knowledge,” says Bocaut. This echoes the philosophies of Barrick and GoldCorp. Mullany and McCarthy both note that “we can’t solve it on our own” while Kondos acknowledges the importance of the CEEC as a platform to capture the available knowledge on comminution efficiency and raise awareness about it.
More information can be found on the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) Website.
2013 CIPEC Annual Report, Energy Management That Works – Where Efficiency Meets Profitability, is now online
The 2013 CIPEC Annual Report profiles 21 industrial sectors, noting their energy intensity improvements, targets and achievements.
The 2013 Annual Report also features CIPEC members who have achieved ISO 50001 certification. Their testimonials serve to reinforce the fact that the certification provides an achievable, short- to long-term strategy that will make them more competitive.
To read the report or download the PDF version, visit www.cipec.nrcan.gc.ca/annual-reports.
Dollars to $ense Energy Management Workshops – Summer schedule
Recommissioning for Buildings
Date: June 21
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Offered in collaboration with Langara College
Energy Management Planning
Date: September 20
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
Notice: Please allow from eight to 10 weeks from the planning to the delivery of a customized Dollars to $ense workshop.
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