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Tembec Matane switches to biogas for pulp drying

The Tembec high-yield pulp mill in Matane, Que., is on its way to lower consumption of fossil fuels. The company officially inaugurated in early October a new anaerobic treatment facility which will produce methane biogas and reduce the...


October 5, 2012
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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The Tembec high-yield pulp mill in Matane, Que., is on its way to lower consumption of fossil fuels. The company officially inaugurated in early October a new anaerobic treatment facility which will produce methane biogas and reduce the mill’s reliance on fossil fuels.

“This investment means better environmental, energy and economic performance for our Matane mill,” said James Lopez, president and CEO of Tembec. “By substantially reducing operating costs, this project will help assure the competitive position of our high-yield pulp on the global market.”

The project has two main components. The first is a new anaerobic treatment facility, which treats effluent and collects methane gas produced by the treatment process. This biogas will be used as fuel in the mill’s pulp-drying process, in place of the light oils currently used. The second component is the installation of a new electric boiler, which replaces a heavy-oil fuelled boiler. These two initiatives together will reduce by approximately 90% the use of oil as fuel sources for the generation of the Matane mill’s various process steam and pulp drying requirements.

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Both provincial and federal government’s contributed funding to the project; $19.7 million from the Government of Canada and $6.3 million from the Government of Québec. Overall, the project represents a total investment of $29 -$32 million.

Dignitaries from the region and members of Tembec’s senior management joined together with employees to inaugurate the new facility.

The Matane mill, which has 140 employees, exports its high-yield pulp to the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Korea and China.