Saskatchewan Bioenergy Center

A first-of-its-kind project is about to come online in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan

Bioenergy power plant at the Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s (MLTC) Norsask sawmill site located near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.

The MLTC Bioenergy Centre consists of a 6.6 MW power generation system that is fueled primarily by biomass sawmill residuals. The plant produces 55,000 mw-hrs per year to the SaskPower grid, and provides low-carbon process heating (kilns and building heat). The objective of MLTC’s bioenergy project is to generate carbon-neutral green power using sawmill biomass residuals and to reduce air emissions by eliminating one of Canada’s last remaining beehive burners. The project consists of installation of a bioenergy power plant at the Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s (MLTC) Norsask sawmill site located near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.

“A first-of-its-kind project is about to come online in Meadow Lake, Sask. The Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC)’s new Bioenergy Centre, which will be operational in 2023 and will turn wood waste from the nearby NorSask Forest Products sawmill into electricity, powering around 5,000 homes in Saskatchewan and providing heat and power for a new continuous kiln.

The project will not only reduce the MLTC’s greenhouse gas emissions, it will also provide economic benefits to local Indigenous communities and companies, explains Tina Rasmussen, corporate development and administration officer with MLTC Industrial Investments.”

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How exactly does the wood waste from NorSask become electricity?

First, wood waste from NorSask goes through a grinder from Rawlings Manufacturing, which grinds the wood waste into pieces around three inches by three inches large. This wood waste is then transported by an open-air pipe belt conveyor to the Bioenergy Centre, where the material is dumped into a silo that is approximately 60-feet-wide by 80-feet-tall.

The silo can store up to three days’ worth of fuel, since NorSask does not run on the weekends, but the Bioenergy Centre will run 24/7.

From the silo, the material goes through an auger system and is carried by conveyor to the top of the thermal oil plant, which is a 120-foot-tall building with a reciprocating grate furnace from Classen Apparatebau Wiesloch (CAW) at the bottom. The fibre drops down on top of the furnace, where it is slowly burned. The fire slowly heats tubes in the plant that are filled with thermal oil, similar to radiator heating.

From the thermal oil plant, the oil travels to the Organic Rankin Cycle building, which houses an Organic Rankin Cycle power generation system from Turboden. There, the hot thermal oil heats another oil called cyclopentane.

“That cyclopentane, when it gets to a certain temperature, turns gaseous. When it becomes gaseous, then it turns the turbine, which turns the generator that produces the energy,”

The Bioenergy Centre can produce up to 8.3 megawatts of power, 6.6 of which goes into the SaskPower grid to provide electricity to 5,000 homes. The remaining power goes back into the facility and some of it is used to heat glycol, which is piped to NorSask’s new Muhlbock six-zone Progressive Flo 1306 PRO continuous kiln. Using glycol instead of natural gas to heat the kiln reduces NorSask’s costs and its natural gas usage by 50-60 per cent.
Thank you to Tina Rasmussen, Corporate Development and Administration Officer, for permission to use this information.

Rawlings Manufacturing is Proud to be Part of this Project

Rawlings Manufacturing was selected for this project because of our ability to manufacture a custom-designed wood recycling system specific to MLTC Bioenergy’s specification . “Once our design team is given the project parameters, we develop concept layouts to develop and customize the system to meet our client’s specific processing needs and budget.  This includes designing new systems or retrofitting and upgrading existing systems. Each system can be designed with work platform decks, choice of belt, chain or vibrating in-feed and out-feed conveyors, metal or magnet protection, product screening and separation.

As a proven leader in size reduction equipment for over 45 years, we’ve successfully assisted our customers to utilize renewable resources while reducing and recycling a wide variety of wood waste into valuable wood fiber products.

MLTC Bioenergy Centre: Saskatchewan