Despite recent upgrades to its boiler and odor control equipment, Northern Pulp Nova Scotia has received an order from the Nova Scotia Department of Environment to perform an engineering study and bring the mill’s emission levels back under allowable limits, local media are reporting.
According to CBC.ca, Northern Pulp tested emissions coming from its plant over the past fall and winter. The findings were then passed on to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment.
“Their levels for particulate and total reduced sulphur were in excess of the limits specified in their approval,” regional director Jay Brenton told CBC. He went on to say that a directive issued on March 8 “requires the company to take an engineering study of their recovery boiler system and to choose an option to address the exceedances.”
According to the Chronicle Herald newspaper, environment officials said the company indicated it will hire a consultant by April 1 and deliver the report by the Sept. 30 deadline.
In a January 2013 company newsletter, Northern Pulp outlined many upgrades that have been made to the mill in the last two years.
“Several improvements were made to the mill’s odour control system which came on line during the first half of 2012. Upgrades to the mill have resulted in reduced odour compounds by 70%. Odour reduction is the mill’s biggest challenge from an environmental point of view,” the newsletter states.
It also acknowledges that, in early 2012, the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment issued a directive to Northern Pulp to reinstate the power boiler scrubber by November 2012. The task was completed on time and “the upgraded scrubbing system is in operation and working well.”
In addition, the lower part of the power boiler was upgraded, resulting in a significant reduction in heavy oil consumption, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions.
The newsletter also notes that a series of projects to improve the pulp washing system, evaporation plant and recovery boiler operation have been completed “and are showing promising results.”
These results include a reduction of waste going to the effluent treatment system,
increased black liquor flow to the recovery boiler and increased electricity production
from renewable resources.
In 2011, Northern Pulp received $28 million from the federal government’s Green Transformation Program for projects that were intended to reduce odour emissions, increase renewable energy production and improve boiler operations.
Northern Pulp has an annual capacity of 275,000 tonnes of NBSK pulp.