Corner Brook Pulp and Paper says it wants to engage the public as the mill considers burning the province’s stockpile of used tires as an alternative energy source in its operations.
The newsprint manufacturer officially registered a proposal to use tire-derived fuel with the provincial Department of Environment and Conservation for environmental assessment Thursday.
The company also issued a news release launching its plan to inform the public and to generate feedback about the idea, which sparked much debate when it was first broached five years ago.
Using tire-derived fuel as a supplemental fuel, the release stated, would help the mill cut back on its use of fossil fuels and reduce energy costs, while offering an environmentally safe solution to dispose of the province’s used tire stockpile.
There are nearly two million tires stockpiled on the province’s east coast.
According to the environmental assessment documentation registered with the province, the mill intends to install a storage, handling and blending system that would feed the operation’s No. 7 power boiler with a uniformly shredded tire product.
If the project is approved by the environmental assessment process, the paper company said it will test the use of tire-derived fuel by adding it to the boiler’s biomass fuel mix at the steam plant in one per cent increments, up to a maximum of five per cent of the total.
Stack testing as well as ash leachate analysis and effluent testing will be conducted to quantify the impact of the boiler’s emissions at the one, three and five per cent increments to ensure stack emissions remain within provincial standards.
About 150 metric tonnes of tire-derived fuel will be purchased for the trial.
Dwayne White, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper’s continuous improvement and technical manager, said maintaining emissions within the environmental regulations established by government to protect public health is the company’s foremost concern.
“The project will not move forward if we encounter any risks or problems that cannot be add-ressed,” White said in the news release.
Public comments on the mill’s proposal can be submitted to the Department of Environment and Conservation as part of the assessment process. The deadline for doing that is Dec. 2, and the minister’s decision is due Dec. 12.
In the meantime, the com-
pany has set up a website at
www.cbppl.com/tdf, which has a feedback link, to help educate the public about its intention.
White said residents and groups can also ask other questions by either emailing inquiries or comments to email@example.com or by calling the mill directly at 637-3105.
The company will also host two public information sessions at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook Nov. 9-10 at 7 p.m. each evening.
White said since the last time tire-derived fuel was a hot issue in Corner Brook in 2005, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper has invested more than $5 million in boiler upgrades to improve combustion efficiency and use supplemental fuels like tire-derived fuel.
“One of the things we also wanted to do is be more open with the public and to give them the opportunity to have their say before we do any work. ... Based on that (trial period), we’ll look for recommendations to move forward and determine the economics and the ability to meet regulations and make this a safe process for us,” White told The Western Star in an interview.
The stockpiled tires remain under the jurisdiction of the province’s Multi-Materials Stewardship Board. Leigh Puddester, the MMSB’s chief executive officer, said it will wait and see what comes out of the environmental process before it decides what to do with the tires.
Although there have been proposals from other entities with plans or the used tires, Puddester said Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is the only proponent with which the board is in active discussions. If the mill’s plan proves feasible, Puddester said he hopes it will take care of the stockpile situation once and for all.
“They may be looking at issues about how many tires would they need to meet their needs and that could take some, all or more than what we have,” he said. “We have a sense and think it’s a solution that would allow us to not need to pursue any other option, but we won’t really know that for sure until they go through the (environmental assessment) process.
“We are not trying to develop a solution here that only gets us half way.”
Tire-derived fuel is being used as an alternative energy source at 123 facilities in more than 30 American states and has been approved as a supplemental fuel source in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.
The Western Star