Veolia selected by Fibre Excellence to upgrade concentration and evaporation processes at Saint Gaudens mill in France
Veolia Water Technologies will provide a turnkey processing plant featuring HPD® evaporation systems designed to optimise the production of wood-derived pulp employed in the making of high-quality paper from virgin fibres.
The design of a circular bio-economy may seem a relatively new concept that emerged from the declaration of the sustainable development goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. For pulp and papermakers, however, it has been a reality for a long time. For example, over half of the energy used by the industry comes from biomass that becomes a renewable and therefore carbon-neutral fuel sourced from local forests. And, because of investments in combined heat and power (CHP) generation, modern Kraft pulp mills are entirely energy self-sufficient thanks to the combustion of biomass that makes use of otherwise forest residues. This excess energy can then be used to improve pulping operations.
At the industrial site in Saint-Gaudens on the foothills of the Pyrenees in southwestern France, Fibre Excellence, a holding group specialised in the paper and forest-products industry, installs a new turbine to generate green energy from biomass. To optimise the overall efficiency and justify the economics of the investment, this extra energy must be consumed at the site. Among many other initiatives, Fibre Excellence plans to enhance pulp quality through improved washing operations.
To remove the excess water created in the black liquor, Veolia supplies HPD® falling film, double-effect evaporators at the pre-evaporation phase. Additionally, in order to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency of the recovery boiler, the final solids concentration of the black liquor will be raised up to 75 percent through an HPD® forced-circulation enhanced high-solids concentrator (EHSC). Both the pre-evaporation and forced circulation concentration phases are integrated into the mill operations using the excess energy generated through the installation of the new turbine.
The award is a reaffirmation of Fibre Excellence’s confidence in Veolia which provided the existing evaporation plant a few decades ago. The new package is integrated with a more efficient stripping column that removes up to 96 percent of methanol and helps to reduce volatile pollutants.
“We are pleased to help Fibre Excellence advance its pulping operations at the Saint Gaudens mill. This award cements Veolia’s position as the partner of choice to supply reliable processing solutions that make the global pulp and paper industry more resource-efficient and sustainable” stated Jim Brown, CEO of Veolia Water Technologies Americas.
Because they already make extensive use of biomass fuel and also recycle heat energy to generate power, the pulp and paper industries have a huge opportunity in both energy and material resource efficiency.
The improvements in boiler operations and collection and treatment of gases at Saint Gaudens boost energy efficiency, lower emissions and help Fibre Excellence keep a record of efficient and safe recovery operations.
Through the continuous improvements in HPD ® evaporation and crystallisation technologies, Veolia works with pulp and paper mills around the world to further reduce environmental impacts and create economic value derived from the responsible management of resources.