Pulp and Paper Canada

St. Marys may still have hope of co-gen contract

August 18, 2009  By Pulp & Paper Canada

St. Marys Renewable Energy Corp., the energy subsidiary of St. Marys Paper Corp., has missed out on the first …

St. Marys Renewable Energy Corp., the energy subsidiary of St. Marys Paper Corp., has missed out on the first combined heat and power renewable cogeneration procurement contract announced by the Ontario Power Authority, but an OPA representative told the Sault Star the paper mill’s hopes for a combined heat and power facility “are very much alive.”

The Sault Ste. Marie specialty papermaker filed application for a 35-MW multi-million-dollar cogeneration facility — about one-third of the 100 MW of purchase agreements available.


“We want to explore with St. Marys an opportunity to partner on combined heat and power and cogeneration,” said Ben Chin, OPA’s vice-president of communications, the Star reports.

“We’re very eager to explore this opportunity and I know they are,” said Chin.

“We’re hoping that it can be expedited and that a good partnership opportunity can be explored.”

The Sault Ste. Marie paper reports that Gord Acton, president of St. Marys Paper, has previously described the cogeneration application, which he had hoped could go operational by June 2013, as essential to the company’s business plan.

It would allow the mill to transition from being a single-product paper mill into a multi-purpose site that would produce energy and value-added bioforest economy products, as well as traditional supercalender paper for publishers and retailers.

The cogeneration vision includes the generation of electricity and production of steam for heating and operational purposes.

According to the Sault Star, the co-gen facility would be fueled by 500 dry tonnes of biomass (wood waste) daily. That’s about twice the current amount of biomass that the mill uses in its boilers to produce steam but not electricity.

Meanwhile, about 100 St. Marys employees were scheduled to begin returning to work Aug. 13. The recall coincides with a return to capacity production as two idled paper machines were also brought back on-line.

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