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Green Power Enhancement Project

Introduction

Peace River Pulp Division (PRPD) of Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. (DMI) is actively considering a Green Power Enhancement Project to increase its exports of biofuel-generated electricity by approximately 126,000 MWh per annum to the Alberta power grid. The biofuel is black
liquor, a bi-product of the pulping process which is recognized as a carbon-neutral fuel. This project has the potential to reduce Alberta’s carbon footprint by 115,000 t CO2e by the displacement of coal generated electricity with bio-fuel generated electricity. This project is being funded through the federal government’s Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program.

It should be noted that this project prospectus is not the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), but a document to facilitate discussion with stakeholders and serve as the basis for the stakeholders to forward items they would want addressed in the EIS.

Facility Overview

The PRPD mill is located on the west bank of the Peace River, approximately 15 km downstream of the town of Peace River. A topographical map of the region and property boundary map of the PRPD mill site are provided in Figures 1 and 2, respectively.

The pulp produced by PRPD is a high-grade pulp that is sold in markets which have demanding quality standards. Some of these markets include base photographic paper, fine writing papers, greeting cards, the reflective background in traffic signs, release papers on the back of adhesive labels, and imaging papers.

Figure 1
Figure 1: General Location of the Peace River Pulp Mill

Approximately 52% of the pulp is exported to the Far East (1% Indonesia, 14% Japan, 16% South Korea, 22% China); 44% to the United States; 1.5% to Europe (Germany, France); and the remaining 1.5% is sold in Canada.

PRPD is a major contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Alberta and Canadian economies. (GDP is the dollar value of the economic activity generated as a result of the operation of the pulp mill and associated woodlands). A significant part of that GDP contribution is through the employment PRPD creates and the purchases of goods and services to support mill operations.

Figure 2
Figure 2: Peace River Pulp Division Property Area Highlighted

PRPD staffing levels for 2010 is expected to be 308 Full Time Equivalents, i.e., 297 are in permanent positions, 11 are in temporary positions. This translates into $34 million annually in wages and benefits. In addition, PRPD employs 600 seasonal contract employees in Forest Resources and 27 contractors in the mill.

Purchases of goods and services by PRPD for 2010 are expected to be about $164 million, 74% of those purchases will be from provincial suppliers. PRPD is also a major tax payer including income taxes and benefits, stumpage, and other miscellaneous taxes and fees. PRPD’s estimated contribution to the government coffers is in the neighbourhood of $15 million of which $4 million will go directly to the municipal tax base.

Project Scope

The scope of this project is defined by its two key components:

  1. Installation of a 25 MW condensing turbine generator (CTG) , which will run in parallel to the mill’s existing 45 MW back-pressure turbine generator (BPTG); and,

  2. An upgrade to the mill’s recovery boiler to create a sufficient supply of steam to the CTG.

Figure 3 shows a simplified process diagram highlighting the components within the project scope.

Figure 3
Figure 3: Simplified Process Diagram of the Green Power Enhancement Project

We are anticipating that the full cost of the project will exceed the available amount of credits for PRPD ($40 M). This will be clearer once the class 10 engineering estimates are completed and both project scope and costs are more defined.

The CTG will convert steam not required by mill processes to electrical power that will then be exported to the Alberta power grid. With a condensing turbine PRPD will also be able to divert high pressure steam from the existing back pressure turbine and feed it to the CTG.

This is a means to generate more electrical power with the same amount of steam thus producing electrical power more efficiently.

The CTG project will involve the installation of the following major equipment:

  1. Steam turbine;
  2. 25 MW electrical generator;
  3. Condenser;
  4. Cooling tower; and
  5. Electrical equipment.

The CTG will require the construction of two (2) relatively small buildings. One of the buildings (footprint 27.61 m x 28.35 m) will be needed to house the turbine, the generator, the condenser, and the associated electrical equipment. The other planned building (footprint 15.24 m x 24.38 m) is a 2-
cell cooling tower designed to minimize water usage. These structures will be embedded within the mill developed area in close proximity to PRPD’s existing powerhouse. Figure 4 is a schematic of where these buildings are to be located on the existing mill site.

Upgrades to the recovery boiler will provide the CTG with additional steam required to produce green power. The boost in steam production will be achieved by increasing the recovery boiler steaming rate and through increased boiler efficiency. To provide sufficient black liquor fuel to support the increased recovery boiler steaming rate, the mill plans to increase softwood production by approximately 30,000 ADt per annum.

The planned upgrades to the recovery boiler include:

  1. Installing an upgraded combustion air system;
  2. Performing a number of modifications to improve the boiler’s feedwater circulation system and thermal efficiency;
  3. Installing a new split primary superheater;
  4. Adding sootblowers; and
  5. Upgrading the induced draft fan.

Figure 4
Figure 4: Schematic of Building Locations

To ensure the mill remains below its compliance limits, the electrostatic precipitator for the recovery boiler will be re-conditioned and equipped with recent technological innovations. The wet scrubber for the smelt dissolving tank of the recovery boiler will also be upgraded. Other environmental aspects (mill water usage, effluent discharge, and other atmospheric emissions) are expected to remain well below existing permitted limits.

The timeline for the project would ideally see construction begin with the buildings in the summer of 2010 with commissioning of the CTG in the fall of 2011.