The mill had been using a solution of water and liquid sulfur dioxide to treat the chlorine dioxide. However, liquid sulfur dioxide is a hazardous chemical to handle and store. In fact, it was the most hazardous chemical at the mill.
Thanks to an investment project to improve environmental efficiency, the Kamloops team replaced the existing scrubber with an updated version that completely eliminated the need to use sulfur dioxide. The new scrubber is also bigger, so it can more efficiently collect and treat 100 percent of the bleach plant’s atmospheric emissions.
“It’s not enough just to be compliant with safety and environmental regulations,” Allaire says. “We have a responsibility to do everything we can to continually find new ways to lessen our footprint, improve our environmental efficiency, protect our people and protect the environment. Eliminating the need to use sulfur dioxide is a big step in that direction.”
Increasing Pulp Machine Production
All of Kamloops’ pulp production comes through just one machine, so any inefficiency, no matter how small, can affect the mill’s production.
Using the same operational and environmental efficiency audit that identified improvements in the chip bin and scrubber, the mill team identified other projects that can improve production. These include upgrades to several key areas of the mill that were completed during its recent prescheduled maintenance. Those projects are delivering outstanding results. In fact, Kamloops has already set a record for its best seven individual production days in mill history.
“We set a new production record on a Tuesday,” Allaire says. “Then we bettered it three times by the following Sunday — an outstanding 10 percent improvement over our previous record.” Allaire says the whole mill team is responsible for this success because the vast majority of the work was done in-house.
Allaire credits Kamloops Mill employees with identifying projects that have improved operational and environmental efficiency and increased productivity. The mill also has the opportunity to grow those initiatives through company-funded investments.
“Those efforts by our employees have helped make our mill fertile ground for investment,” Allaire says. “We have an opportunity to increase our competitiveness and therefore extend the mill’s lifespan. We’re doing everything we can to capitalize on those opportunities.”