Canadian Mills Start New Year with Heavy Dose of Funding

Jan. 7, 2011 - The Government of Canada has started 2011 right where it left off and continued awarding millions of dollars in funding to pulp and paper mills through its Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP).

The program, capped at $1 billion and slated to end March 31, 2012, provides pulp and paper mills with access to funding for capital investments that make environmental improvements to their facilities such as improved energy efficiency or increased production of alternative energy.

Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, Christian Paradis, announced the latest awards for the following mills:

Irving Paper
Irving Paper will receive $10.4 million to install equipment at its two Saint John, New Brunswick mills to capture and recover waste steam that is currently released into the atmosphere and will modify its processes so that the mills can maximize the use of low-pressure steam. As a result of the projects, the mills will be able to collectively save nearly 580,000 gigajoules of energy a year — enough to power more than 13,000 homes. In addition, the projects will result in a reduction of greenhouse gases by more than 31,000 tonnes per year — equivalent to the emissions produced by over 8,600 cars.

Twin Rivers Paper Company
Twin Rivers Paper Company has been awarded $21 million for upcoming projects at its Edmundston mill in New Brunswick. The projects are expected to yield a variety of environmental benefits, including the production of an additional 80,000 gigajoules of renewable thermal energy per year. The mill will also have energy efficiency savings of almost 164,000 gigajoules of energy a year.

Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company
Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company (50/50 joint venture between Daishowa-Marubeni International and West Fraser Timber) will receive $41.5 million to improve the Quesnel, BC mill's overall operational efficiency. The mill will upgrade its power boiler and hog fuel handling system, install a steam turbine and cooling tower and undertake four steam reduction projects in the mill process. The project is expected to decrease the mill's environmental footprint while increasing its electricity generation capacity by 18.1 megawatts. The project will allow the mill to meet all of its energy needs and export surplus renewable electrical energy to the grid.

Alberta Pacific Forest Industries
Alberta Pacific Forest Industries' the Boyle mill will receive $62.9 million to be used for upgrades that will improve the mill's energy efficiency and allow it to provide Alberta's power grid with enough green electricity to power 8,400 homes. The project will allow the mill to make use of steam that is currently vented and increase its ability to export renewable energy to Alberta residents. These changes are expected to yield an additional 100,000 megawatt hours of green electricity per year.

Domtar's Kamloops mill in British Columbia has been awarded $17.3 million, which will go towards three capital improvement projects that will build on a series of PPGTP-funded infrastructure upgrades announced last April for the mill. As a result, a number of operational processes will be improved by upgrading equipment and reusing steam and hot water whenever possible. Collectively, these changes will yield an additional 79,040 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year

Canfor's Northwood pulp mill in Prince George, BC will receive $100.2 million, which will be used to upgrade the mill's recovery boiler, evaporator and emissions reduction equipment, allowing for greater production of renewable electricity and increased energy efficiency. These improvements are also expected to reduce odor, improve steam recovery and reduce the mill's consumption of natural gas.

The Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program
On June 17, 2009, the Government of Canada announced its Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program, which provides pulp and paper mills with one-time access to $1 billion in funding for capital investments that make environmental improvements to their facilities such as improved energy efficiency or increased production of alternative energy.

Thirty-eight pulp and paper mills across Canada, representing 24 companies, generated credits under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program based on their 2009 production levels of black liquor.

However, under the terms of the program, eligible firms can invest the credits generated at one mill in any of their pulp and paper facilities across Canada. Consequently, newsprint and pulp mills that did not generate credits could still benefit from this program.

Pulp mills located in Canada that produce black liquor between January 1 and December 31, 2009 are eligible for funding. Mills receive funding based on $0.16/litre of black liquor burned until the $1 billion in funding is fully allotted. Firms can only use the funding for capital investments at their pulp and paper mills to improve their environmental performance. Firms will then have until March 31, 2012 to draw on this funding, at which time the program is slated to end.

SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada