The Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC), representing nine Indigenous First Nations in Saskatchewan, Canada, is a successful case of a power transition – from diesel gen-set to biomass heat and power.
In February 2020, Italy-headed Turboden S.p.A, a group company of Japan-headed Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) concluded a contract to provide the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) with an 8 MWe Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power generation system to replace a diesel-fuelled system.
Now completed, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) Bioenergy Centre will use sawmill biomass residuals to provide baseload electricity.
Replace diesel, reduce gas, and closed the beehive burner
The objective of MLTC’s bioenergy project is to generate carbon-neutral green power for the community and replace diesel-fuelled gen-sets by using sawmill biomass residuals. At the same time reduce air emissions by eliminating one of Canada’s last remaining beehive burners.
The project consists of the installation of a bioenergy power plant at the NorSask Forest Products LP (Norsask) sawmill site located near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.
NorSask is owned by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) and is the largest First Nations-owned sawmill in Canada. NorSask manufactures SPF stud lumber from White spruce, Jack pine, and Balsam fir.
Prior to the project, production residuals such as bark, off-cuts, and sawdust were simply disposed of in a so-called beehive burner.
In addition, the MLTC Biomass Centre system design provides process heat to the NorSask sawmill buildings as well as to a new high-efficiency lumber dry kiln, to reduce natural gas consumption.
Biomass combined heat and power
The installation consists of a Classen Apparatebau Wiesloch (CAW) single air-cooled, refractory-lined, reciprocating grate furnace and thermal oil system with thermal oil heat exchangers, and Turboden 6.6 MW Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbo-generator, and all associated fuel handling and environmental emission systems.
The combined heat and power (CHP) plant is expected to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than one million tonnes over 25 years, as well as significantly reduce smoke and other harmful particulate matter (PM), improving the local air quality conditions.