The steam generation through energy recovery project carried out by the Cascades energy efficiency team at the Cascades Tissue Group – Mechanicville plant won two major energy awards this year: it was one of the top three projects of the year as voted by ENERGY STAR members and also the Energy Manager Today Project of the Year Award initiated by the Environmental Leader group. These two awards are a source of pride for the company, since this is the first project of its kind in the North American industry.
The steam generator project consists of recovering and reusing the energy in the exhaust gases of the hood used to dry out the paper, by means of a system fitted with a steam-generating heat exchanger. The aim was to reduce the consumption of natural gas without adversely affecting production. The project saves an estimated 41,888 GJ/year, which is nearly 10% of the total reduction target of 450,000 GJ/year set out in the company’s Sustainable Development Plan 2013–2015. This result, along with other energy efficiency achievements, contributes to making Cascades less energy-intensive than its competitors. Notably, Cascades purchases 59% less energy than the average for the Canadian pulp and paper industry.
The ENERGY STAR program, a voluntary certification created in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognizes efforts made to improve energy efficiency for products, buildings and industrial facilities. InNorth America , more than 25,000 buildings and industrial facilities follow the established standards. Given the impressive number of projects carried out by certified ENERGY STAR members each year, being voted one of the top three industrial projects by its members is a real achievement. As for the Energy Manager Today Awards, this is an American contest that recognizes energy management excellence in companies. The steam generator project was judged by a varied panel of eminent business people.
“The team from the Mechanicville plant is pleased with the results of the steam generation project to date. It is beneficial across the board: The equipment was designed to be easy for facility staff to use and the reduced natural gas consumption translates both as increased environmental performance and as financial savings,” said Philippe Bourassa, Plant Manager. Mario Plourde, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades, said: “This project is included in the energy efficiency action plans that the plants are encouraged to follow each year. I congratulate the team responsible for the project on the spirit with which it was able to overcome the technical challenges of this unique project. The scene is now set for other similar projects at Cascades.”