Veolia selected by Fibre Excellence to upgrade concentration and evaporation processes at Saint Gaudens mill in France
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 specialized in the paper and forest-products industry, installs a new turbine to generate green energy from biomass.
To optimize 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% 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% 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 crystallization 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.
Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 171,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste, and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
In 2018, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 63 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 56 million megawatt-hours of energy and converted 49 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of USD 30.6 billion in 2018.