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Millar Western Whitecourt AHD plant nears completion

Canada-based forest products major Millar Western, has revealed that its bioenergy facility at its Whitecourt pulp mill in Whitecourt, Alberta is nearing completion. The project involves integration of anaerobic hybrid digesters (AHDs) into the pulp mill’s existing aerobic effluent treatment system. The AHD units will recover organic material from the effluent stream and convert it to a biogas. After conditioning, the biogas will be used to fuel reciprocating engines, to generate 5.2 MW of electricity for use in the pulp operations.

– Producing our own energy will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and other inputs associated with effluent treatment. We also expect benefits in productivity, as we improve our effluent treatment capacity.  Moreover, the project will reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cut our water consumption and improve the quality of our liquid discharges to the Athabasca River, said Ron Reis, Senior Vice President of Pulp for Millar Western.

In addition waste heat recovered from the biogas power plant will offset natural gas usage in pulp drying. The project is expected to be fully operational later in 2016.

– Our goal is to use the whole tree, with zero waste:  wood chips from our sawmill are used in manufacturing pulp at our adjacent mill; shavings and fines are delivered to a panel-board mill; and fines and pins are provided to the oil and gas sector, for site remediation.  In addition to creating our own energy, we provide wood residuals to a regional green-power plant, while the remaining digestate from our pulp mill effluent treatment system is used by the agricultural sector as a soil enhancer, said Reis.


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