L&M Lumber leads world with new energy system

The L&M Lumber mill has finished installing a cogeneration unit to convert waste heat into energy and additional revenue.

By installing a new cogeneration unit

The L&M Lumber mill has finished installing a cogeneration unit to convert waste heat into energy and additional revenue.

Called an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerator, the unit is the first of its kind in Canada to be powered off waste heat at a sawmill, said Alan Fitzpatrick, general manager and director of L&M Lumber, Nechako Lumber and Premium Pellet Ltd.

Installation of the unit is part of a perpetual shift towards developing a more energy-efficient mill, explained Fitzpatrick, who implemented and installed the turbogenerator under a newly formed company, Nechako Green Energy Ltd.

Powered by waste heat emitted from the mill’s current thermal energy system, which burns bark to dry lumber in a kiln, the ORC turbogenerator can produce up to 20 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power about 1,500 homes, which is roughly the size of Vanderhoof.

Prior to installing the unit, excess heat was being lost, venting into the atmosphere, explained Fitzpatrick.

By harnessing it with the ORC unit, L&M Lumber expects to produce about 30 per cent of the energy currently being consumed by the mill, saving up to $1 million annually.

“The basic purpose was to become more efficient and energy self sufficient, reduce our footprint and create a revenue stream from a waste item,” Fitzpatrick stated in an email on March 1.

Sustainable operations and reducing waste have long been top priorities for L&M Lumber, a Vanderhoof-based company that produces high-quality lumber for markets in Canada, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, the U.K. and the Netherlands.

Fitzpatrick said the mill utilizes all materials on site, turning logs and byproduct into either lumber, wood chips, wood pellets, heat and, now, electricity.

“There is virtually no waste of fibre on our site. We have the most up to date and advanced scanning and optimizing equipment for lumber production in the world,” he said.

More than six years have passed since Fitzpatrick began investigating solutions for harnessing waste heat to when he started the ORC turbogenerator for the first time on Feb. 19.

During the same time period, Fitzpatrick negotiated a Load Displacement contract with B.C. Hydro to sell excess energy generated by the ORC unit, further reducing the mill’s electricity rates.

“In my opinion we have taken cheap power for granted in this province,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Energy is becoming more expensive and harder to get, so self generation from a waste stream makes a lot of sense environmentally and economically.”

 

Just Posted

Editorial: Go out and play

How much is too much screen time?

CIBC to close its branch in Fraser Lake next year

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is closing its Fraser Lake… Continue reading

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read