Red liquor = Green power T

embec calls it a ‘game- changing’ investment. The new Andritz sulphite recovery boiler and

turbine-generator at this Canadian forest products company improve production costs and environmen- tal performance while providing steady, long-term revenue for green electricity. The CAD273 million (EUR185 million) project also permits a future capacity expansion of specialty cellulose production.

The slogan for Tembec is ‘Rooted in tomorrow’. This is an apt description of how a strong sense of history is blended with a forward-thinking strategy to find success in difficult markets. To understand Tembec’s drive for success, travel back in time to 1973 in Temiscaming, Québec, a town whose livelihood depended on the pulp mill that was shut down as being unprofitable in 1972. The mill’s rebirth was made possible by four individuals who teamed up with former employees of the mill, the residents of Temis- caming and government authori- ties to purchase the shuttered mill. Against an investment of CAD2.4 million (EUR1.6 million), the com- pany’s first-year after tax income

was CAD9.3 million (EUR6.3 million). A Canadian success story was launched.

The Tembec strategy has been to carve out a niche for the sulfite mill: tailor-made specialty dissolv- ing pulps (ethers, acetates, nitro- cellulose and microcrystalline cel- lulose), chemicals (lignosulfonates) and coated bleached board. “This mill has been here for 100 years,” said Paolo Dottori, Vice-President of Environment, Engineering and Procurement. “The batch sulfite process gives us higher pulp qual- ity and the flexibility to produce to buyer specifications.” As Dottori explains, Temis- caming is actually a very com- plicated site from an energy perspective: “We have a board mill, a high-yield pulp mill and a specialty cellulose mill here, with many swings in production. We needed an extremely robust boiler to replace our old units that could handle our variability of liquor swings. We also needed certain fuel capabilities. The boiler had to be oversized by a certain factor. We wanted dual scrub- bing capabilities (ammonia and/or caustic). Plus, we needed a flexible condensing turbine design to handle outages and shutdowns in

a variety of ways”.

Tembec’s new CAD273 million green electricity facility at Temis- caming is now producing steam for mill processes and generating power that it is delivering to the Provincial utility, Hydro-Québec, through a 25-year supply contract. The centerpiece is an Andritz SulfitePower boiler and electrical turbine with a generating capacity of just over 60 MW. The boiler burns ‘red liquor’, which is a co- product of the ammonia-based sulfite manufacturing process at the mill.

The main drivers, according to Paul Cousineau, Corporate Manager of Major Projects, who stepped in to become Tembec’s Project Manager after the original project manager experienced health problems, were the age of existing boilers and the desire to reduce SO2 emissions consider- ably, plus the ability to create a steady stream of revenue from the power agreement with Hydro- Québec.

Efficiencies of the new Andritz

boiler improve manufacturing pro- ductivity and reduce costs. Once fully optimised, the new scrub- ber and environmental control equipment will reduce the mill’s SO2 emissions by 70%, which will be much appreciated by the local community.

Best available technology Andritz was selected to provide the engineering, the boiler itself, erection supervision (civil construc- tion and erection were handled by Tembec) and commissioning services at Temiscaming. “Sulfite mills are few and far between in Canada,” confirmed Cousineau. “The last recovery boilers in North America for sulfite mills were installed in the late 1970s. Andritz has done consider- able work since then by installing sulfite boilers and chemical recov- ery units around the world. Adritz has strongly promoted its design to the point that we believe it is the best available technology.” Andritz is unique in that it offers all three types of recovery boilers:

Tembec’s new green electricity facility at Temiscaming is now producing steam for mill processes and also generating power that is delivered via a 25-year supply contract with the Provincial utility, Hydro-Québec. The centerpiece is an Andritz SulfitePower boiler and electrical turbine with a generating capacity of over 60 MW.

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