The British Columbia utility FortisBC has awarded a wood pulp mill – Quesnel River Pulp – with a $250,000 incentive to make energy efficiency improvements.
The pulp mill, a division of West Fraser Timber, is the first participant in FortisBC’s Industrial Technology Retrofit Program, which offers monetary incentives to industrial natural gas customers for energy efficiency projects.
Quesnel River Pulp will receive funding up to 50 percent of the cost of its energy efficiency upgrades, to a maximum of $1 million over the next three years. The incentive from FortisBC covers the costs of the project, including new equipment, installation and old equipment removal, including taxes. With the aid of the incentive, Quesnel River Pulp may be able to reduce the payback period on its equipment investment within a few years.
A major component contributing to the efficiency will be the replacement of heat exchangers with more efficient spiral-wound units. The new units will reduce the amount of natural gas required for drying the pulp, saving approximately 70,000 gigajoules (GJs) of natural gas annually, the equivalent amount of natural gas consumed by all customers in the city of Vancouver over the course of two days.
The Industrial technology Retrofit Program is available for FortisBC industrial customers who use more than 10,000 GJs for process heating. Depending on consumption, participants have the option of receiving up to 75 percent of the cost of implementing new equipment up to a maximum of $375,000, or receiving up to 50 percent of the cost to a maximum of $1 million.