Pratt & Whitney Power Systems to deliver biomass plant in British Columbia

Pratt & Whitney Power Systems has been awarded a contract to deliver a 13 MW biomass heat recovery power plant for West Fraser Timber Company in British Columbia, Canada.
Pratt & Whitney Power Systems to deliver biomass plant in British Columbia

According to a written statement issued by the firm, the state-of-the-art power plant will provide clean, carbon-neutral power to the company’s Chetwynd Forest Industries plant utilizing two Turboden 65 HRS Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerators.

Turboden is a Pratt & Whitney Power Systems company, and Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. company.

The deal was announced Wednesday, at Pratt & Whitney’s sixth annual Media Day, where business leaders briefed reporters on the company's latest programs and discussed its strategy and milestones for 2012, including the company’s continued growth in renewable energy.

West Fraser is a leading wood products company with operations in western Canada and the southern United States, producing softwood lumber, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, laminated veneer lumber and wood chips. The installation of the ORC unit at West Fraser’s Chetwynd facility is a part of efforts to improve operational efficiency.

It was selected by BC Hydro under the BC Hydro Bioenergy Phase II Call for Power program for two of their sites totaling 180 GWh/year from wood biomass. Through this program, BC Hydro awarded 20-year electricity purchase agreements to West Fraser.

“We’re proud that this project directly contributes to achieving British Columbia's energy objectives,” said Peter Rippon, vice president, Pulp and Energy at West Fraser. “Not only are we improving our own plant’s energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions, we’re also helping the province achieve its goals of electricity self-sufficiency and generating electricity from clean or renewable resources.”

Organic Rankine Cycle technology utilizes heat from several sources including biomass, geothermal, concentrated solar power, and by recovering heat from industrial processes, engines and gas turbines. The technology is unique in that it uses an organic fluid instead of steam to drive a turbo-generator, which can range in nominal output from about 1 to 10 MW and up for a single ORC module.

The system employs a closed-cycle process that uses relatively low- to moderate-temperature heat sources to generate electricity. These ORC systems are driven by a simple evaporation process and are entirely enclosed, which means they produce virtually no emissions after receiving thermal energy.

The two ORC units for Chetwynd Forest Industries facility will maximize the electrical output, while each providing the lumber plant with 6.5 MW of renewable electrical power at max load. The use of ORC systems is particularly ideal for remote locations such as the Chetwynd plant in rural north eastern British Columbia because they do not require the use of water or any on-site operational supervision.

The Chetwynd plant produces 280 MMfbm of lumber products annually, and the ORC units will use thermal oil from a new biomass system installed to burn the plant’s residual hog fuel. Approximately 50-60 percent of biomass fuel will come from local sawmill operations; the remainder will be purchased and brought in from logging residues.

Two Turboden 65 HRS systems will be delivered to West Fraser by the end of 2013, with installation and commissioning expected in 2014. Commercial operation is planned by the second quarter of 2014.

For additional information:

Pratt and Whitney

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