Project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for energy efficiency
West Fraser Timber reported $72 million in earnings for 2011.
With support from the Alberta government, West Fraser Mills Ltd. will turn waste from its Slave Lake Pulp mill into electricity, increasing the plant’s energy efficiency and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
This biogas project, receiving $10 million in provincial funding, is expected to produce enough green energy to allow the company to draw seven fewer megawatts from the electricity grid annually to operate its mill and reduce its natural gas use by more than 164,000 gigajoules annually.
“I am impressed with the rate at which Alberta industry is adopting new technologies to reduce greenhouse gases,” said Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Water. “Implementing a system to boost energy efficiency by converting pulp waste into green power is an outstanding example of industry’s commitment to environmental management.”
An anaerobic treatment system installed at the Slave Lake Pulp facility will treat a portion of the facility’s processed waste and then convert the biodegradable materials into a gaseous fuel called biogas that will be used to generate green electricity at the plant.
“We are very appreciative of the support from the Alberta government for this important project.” said Henry Ketcham, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Fraser. “This announcement brings us one step closer to implementing a project that will improve our mill’s environmental performance and provide a platform for the production of bioenergy.”
The anaerobic treatment technology will also lower the facility’s direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by about 45,000 tonnes per year and cut the production of solid organic waste in half.
“There’s a lot of ingenuity in my constituency and I’m pleased to see industry taking on new ideas to make business better,” said Pearl Calahasen, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake. “By adopting new technologies, our community has the potential to make our businesses stronger, more competitive and environmentally sustainable.”
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Category: Energy, Environment