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Domtar’s Windsor mill completes wood room upgrade to reduce fibre loss

June 11, 2020  By P&PC Staff

Photo: Domtar

Domtar’s pulp and paper mill in Windsor, Quebec recently completed a two-year-long upgrade of its wood room.

The company says that the modernization allows the mill to increase productivity while reducing fibre loss between the forest and the mill.

The wood room, where logs are debarked and processed into wood chips to feed the mill, received a state-of-the-art processing line to replace its existing two lines.


The previous system processed logs up to eight feet long, while the new single-line system can process logs that are four to 26 feet long.

Sylvain Bricault, mill manager of Domtar Windsor, says the debarking process improvement will reduce fibre loss by four per cent each year, allowing the mill to get more usable fibre from the same amount of wood.

The upgrade also brings the mill a step closer to the circular bioeconomy, says Bricault.

For example, the sawmills that receive higher-value wood from Domtar’s forest lands send the lower-value wood — such as bark and excess chips — back to the mill for other uses.

The mill uses chips to make pulp and paper, and it burns bark to produce steam, which dries the mill’s paper and powers its turbine generator. The generator produces electricity that is sold to Hydro-Québec to power homes in the surrounding communities.

“This project has changed the way we manage the fibre we receive from the forest,” says Bricault.

“That includes everything from the way we produce, receive, handle and store wood logs, to the way we process them into the mill. It was a complex undertaking that was made possible thanks to strong collaboration from all of our employees.”

Safety was paramount for the team, who analyzed possible health and safety risks that might arise from the project’s new traffic patterns and equipment operation, and developed safe work practices for employees.

“This project has brought about a great efficiency improvement for the Windsor Mill in terms of optimizing the amount and quality of wood it can now process,” says Bill Edwards, vice-president of Domtar Paper Manufacturing.

“It’s another great step forward on the mill’s continuous improvement journey that will pay dividends for many years to come.”

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