More efficient bio-mass energy production and reduced greenhouse gas emissions are behind a $4.7-million upgrade to Catalyst’s Port Alberni operation, a company news release noted.
The efficiencies will take the form of upgrades to the main power boiler. Specifically, they include a new secondary air system, a larger heat-exchange system and a new gas monitoring system.
The new system’s components will take time to build so the work won’t start until October, and will coincide with planned boiler maintenance.
“This is a multi-benefit project and a big step forward for the Port Alberni operation,” said Bob Lindstrom, vice-president, supply chain, energy and information technology.
The project cost is being underwritten by the federal pulp and paper green transformation program credits.
“I would like to congratulate the federal government for investing in the pulp and paper industry in British Columbia," Port Alberni mayor Ken KcRae said.
"The forest industry is the number one industry in this country and Canada is a leader in the world. We want to keep it that way.”
The Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations’ have endorsed the project, the release noted.
The boiler is fueled by carbon-neutral hog fuel, therefore the upgrade doesn’t require any environmental permits.
The new system’s air nozzles will produce better boiler combustion and reduce fuel requirements, improving the reliability of existing equipment.
The improvements will reduce greenhouse gas emissions through decreased use of the back-up natural gas boiler.
More efficient combustion and lower-temperature gas exiting the boiler will also reduce emissions of dioxins and other substances.
The new gas monitoring system will provide feedback, which operators will use to optimize boiler performance.