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Heads Up CIPEC – Volume 19, Issue 6

Volume 19, Issue 6

Fortress Cellulose builds on energy savings with Pinch Analysis

“Our goal is ambitious. Ultimately, we want the mill to be fossil energy-free,” states Marco Veilleux, Vice-President, Business Development and Strategic Project for Fortress Paper. To achieve this goal, the energy team at the Thurso mill in Québec has already implemented many measures and is planning others.

Veilleux notes that objectives for 2016 include saving 7 million litres of fuel oil and eliminating one boiler delivering 40 tonnes of steam per hour. “With these energy savings we are also aiming to reduce GHG emissions by at least 5 to 10 percent each year.”

A big step in moving toward the fossil energy-free target and lowering production costs is the mill’s cogeneration facility. The company recently added 5.2 megawatts (MW) of incremental power, allowing the mill to deliver up to 24 MW to Hydro Quebec, at any given time.

A heat recovery system was installed to recuperate energy from condensers that serve the dissolving pulp production process and to heat process water to between 80 and 85°C. An advanced control system will be put in place to monitor steam production for optimal output.

Annie Quevillon, the mill’s Director of Technical Services and Energy Efficiency, says that a process integration (PI) study completed in the summer of 2014, with cost-sharing assistance from NRCan’s ecoENERGY Efficiency for Industry Financial Assistance program and an incentive of more than $40,000 from the  Government of Quebec’s Fonds vert - Programme ÉcoPerformance (in French only), resulted in a list of potential projects that could build on the significant savings gained to date. Specifically, the study’s Pinch Analysis identified 3 measures that the mill team is studying and moving to the engineering stage for possible implementation.

One of the potential projects involves the re-use of contaminated condenser water in the showers in the pulp thickening process. This could reduce process demand of up to 1.6 tonnes of steam per hour. An existing heat recovery system will be used to pre-heat chlorine dioxide, which is expected to save 0.5 tonnes hourly in steam production. Finally, an existing evaporator will be retrofitted to increase its efficiency.

Veilleux recommends a PI Study with its Pinch Analysis to other enterprises. “It was a particularly good tool for us as we already have an energy management plan and policy in place, enabling us to fully benefit from the results.” The mill’s energy policy was developed and implemented about one year ago, with an objective of reducing the mill’s energy footprint and increasing its competitiveness. “We have seen impressive results so far from our work to educate our employees and our systematic implementation of an energy policy,” notes Quevillon.

Pinch Analysis

Process integration is a highly effective approach to improving the energy efficiency of large and complex industrial facilities with energy-intensive systems.

CanmetENERGY promotes the use of Pinch Analysis, a process integration technique, as an efficient way to reduce energy consumption in complex industrial processes that use large amounts of energy. Through its comprehensive and systematic approach, Pinch Analysis has proven to be particularly effective in meeting the challenges of:

  • Reducing operating costs
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Reducing gas emissions and environmental impacts
  • Increasing production capacity
  • Optimizing investment use

What is Pinch Analysis?

Pinch Analysis is a comprehensive method of analysis, based on thermodynamic principles, that was developed for the design of highly energy efficient processes. By considering all the energy flows in a given process, it can determine what the minimum energy consumption would be in the presence of optimal heat recovery. This information is very useful as it allows comparing a plant’s current energy use with its targeted minimum consumption, therefore identifying the true potential for energy savings.

More specifically, Pinch Analysis can:

  • Determine the optimal energy consumption level for a given process as well as the      potential for improvement through better heat recovery
  • Identify heat recovery projects as a means to reduce energy consumption
  • Identify the potential for cogeneration and the possible uses for heat pumps
  • Identify water use reduction projects resulting in energy savings

To learn more about Pinch Analysis:

BLOOM’s Water & Wine platform provides one-stop shop for Ontario wineries

The Bloom Centre for Sustainability (BLOOM) recently-launched the free Water & Wine web-based platform, designed as the winery sector’s one-stop shop for water use and management.

The platform features modules on strategic water and well management, water use monitoring, water consumption reduction and wastewater strength, on-site wastewater treatment and alternative water sources. Each module takes users through the “why, what and how” of the topic with practical solutions explained using videos from demonstration sites and links to 14 case studies from Ontario wineries. Modules can also be accessed through the ‘challenges’ and ‘opportunities’ tab that direct users to solutions for specific water issues.

Kevin Jones, President and CEO of BLOOM, notes that, “Water is a critical business issue – one that can’t be ignored – but there has never been a go-to source on water to meet the specific needs of a winery. This is why we created Water & Wine, to save wineries time, and money, while ensuring that they can implement cost-effective and sustainable water management practices.”

The Water & Wine platform comes out of a close collaboration with the Wine Council of Ontario and a two-year study that resulted in the collection of an extensive body of knowledge on water use and management from visits to 25 wineries as well as strategic demonstration projects.

As Richard Linley, President of the Wine Council of Ontario, states, “Through member feedback, we realized that Ontario VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wineries of all sizes experience similar water challenges. With the Water & Wine platform, BLOOM has provided wineries with hands-on and practical guidance that can be trusted.”

“Winery owners are innovative,” says Jones, “and in the case of water, all they are seeking more intelligence and support to better understand the issues and opportunities, and to implement practical solutions and systems. The biggest benefit of the platform is that it represents a developing body of knowledge within the wine sector on water use and management.”

J-L Groux, Winemaker, Stratus Vineyards, highly recommends BLOOM’s Water & Wine platform, “I wish this material had been available sooner. Had I had this information earlier, I could have saved a lot of time and money when we first started monitoring water use.”

For more information on the platform, visit

New fuel injection design for iron-making blast furnaces leads to savings

A recent modeling study using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) shows that increasing natural gas injection by 10 percent in blast furnaces used in iron-making is feasible. In times when metallurgical coke is expensive and natural gas prices are comparatively low, a 10 percent increase could reduce coke use by 35,000 tonnes annually and also reduce CO2 emissions by 29,300 tonnes a year for each furnace. Other design improvements associated with the study lowered the total fuel input requirement (both coke and natural gas) by 55,000 gigajoules (GJ) annually.

Blast furnaces represent the most energy and CO2 emission intensive parts of the iron-making process. Reducing this intensity has been an area of interest for both the steel industry and researchers at the CanmetENERGY laboratory in Bells Corners, Ontario.

Allan Runstedtler, Research Scientist at CanmetENERGY, explains that a CFD model was used to compare and evaluate individual or combined coal/natural gas injection systems for blast furnaces.  

The model specifically investigated the interaction between blast air and fuel flows in the blowpipe and tuyere nozzle for the different injection methods. His team showed that coal and natural gas injection strategies can be combined in a single fuel lance that creates a wake to help disperse coal without adding extra dispersal gas. They also addressed important operating issues such as initiation of partial combustion and control of heat loads on the tuyere nozzle.

Runstedtler says that the modeling study contributed to the successful implementation of a pure natural gas injection design at one of U.S. Steel Canada’s sites. He also notes that, by allowing fuel switching, the novel design provides some flexibility and resiliency during times of fluctuating fuel prices. He adds that CFD studies like this one are useful as results can be immediately implemented in the field. “We can test ideas at the commercial scale right away without having to scale up.”

The ecoENERGY Efficiency for Industry program is offering cost-shared assistance to industrial companies to implement energy management projects.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) will provide financial assistance of up to 50 percent of eligible costs to a maximum of $40,000 for Computational Fluid Dynamics Studies.

Nunavut Meadowbank gold mine achieves significant fuel savings

“We have implemented many measures since 2003 that have led to savings of 5.5 million litres of diesel annually,” says Jean Beliveau, General Manager of Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank mine. With no electricity at the mine site and high fuel costs, Agnico Eagle is always looking for ways to reduce energy consumption.

The Meadowbank mine is located about 70 kilometres north of Baker Lake in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. The mine requires about 70 million litres of diesel for its operations running one principal power plant with several auxiliary ones. A total of six diesel-powered generators produce 4.4 megawatts (MW) each.

Beliveau says that as part of the project that led to the savings at the mine, generators were analyzed for optimization potential and best power factor. The most efficient ones were kept for the main powerhouse and retrofitted with heat exchangers, that now capture the equivalent of 8.5 MW in heat, half of the mine’s requirement. A glycol loop carries this heat to different parts of the mine such as the main camps, some of the mine buildings, the gym and the main office.

An audit of the heating system was also conducted to optimize the newly-installed heat recovery system. Now the glycol network supplies all heaters directly. Older electric heaters have been converted to glycol ones, which can be fed directly by the glycol loop.

Additionally, an energy dashboard was developed to track real-time energy consumption in all mine sectors and to link the consumption to production. “This energy management system allows us to identify areas of concern and follow consumption trends,” says Beliveau.

Other initiatives already in place include minimizing vehicle idling time, re-using process water, using tailing pond water for process cooling and recycling used hydraulic oil for additional space heating.

“We will continue to optimize the systems we have in place,” says Beliveau referring to the planned installation of diagnostic tools that will separate the site into different sectors to better monitor energy use and identify energy saving opportunities. An electronic monitoring system for motorized equipment, including trucks, loaders, and shovels is also in the works to track the amount of fuel used by each piece of equipment.

Upcoming workshop to focus on energy efficient mineral processing

An upcoming, half-day workshop hosted by the Coalition for Eco Efficient Comminution (CEEC) will focus on how professionals in the mining industry can use an energy curve program to determine and compare current mineral processing efficiency against best practice.

The program, developed by Dr. Grant Ballantyne, allows mining companies to identify opportunities, develop best practices for process energy efficiency and work towards continuous improvement. Moreover, energy and cost savings of best practice can be visualized with the CEEC Energy Curve.

The workshop, to be held in the morning of September 24, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, will feature the achievements and findings of the Energy Curve program to date. Benefits of participating in the program will be discussed and workshop participants will also be able to try the program. Moreover, data modelling and its impact on a site’s energy efficiency will be shown.

Dr. Ballantyne, who will conduct the workshop, is a research fellow at the Sustainable Minerals Institute in Australia. He received a Ph.D. in the field of mineral processing engineering and spent three years at the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre in the same country.

CEEC is a global initiative that provides access to the most current technical scientific information to the mining industry around the world. By providing this access, this independent, not-for-profit organization aims to accelerate the implementation of eco-efficient comminution practices.

CEEC offers workshops such as this one as well as a wealth of resources on the comminution process. More details about CEEC’s work and the upcoming workshop can be found on the CEEC web site here.

New CIPEC Leaders

Brewery Sector

Kichesippi Beer Company Inc. – Ottawa, Ontario

General Manufacturing Sector

Univar Canada Ltd. – Weston, Ontario

Forest Products Sector

Catalyst Paper Corporation – Power River, British Columbia

Dollars to $ense Energy Management workshops – fall schedule

Energy Management Certificate Program offered in collaboration with Langara College in Vancouver

Courses include:

  • Energy Management Planning  (EMP)
  • Spot the Energy Savings Opportunities  (SPOT)
  • Energy Monitoring (EM)
  • Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS)
  • Recommissioning for Buildings (RCx)
  • Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF)
  • Building Systems and Analysis (Offered only through Langara College)
  • Building Operations Management (Offered only through Langara College)
  • Business Communications (Offered only through Langara College)

To register, call the Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604-323-5322

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

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

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

You can also use the subscription page to update your contact information, or to unsubscribe or subscribe to the Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency newsletter, our sister publication for commercial, institutional and federal government buildings. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the subscription page, send an e-mail to


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