Norske Skog Tasman takes top honours | News | Kawerau

Norske Skog Tasman takes top honours

1 September 2015

Element’s paper maker wins ‘Large Energy User Initiative Award at this month’s Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.

Since 2013 Norske Skog Tasman has commissioned a 20.5 MW geothermal power plant, developed a production optimisation model and become the electricity market’s first ‘dispatchable demand’ participant. Along with a host of other, smaller initiatives, the company’s relentless pursuit of energy generation and efficiency were enough for it to win the Element-sponsored Large Energy User Initiative of the Year at this month’s Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.

The win was made all the sweeter given the company produces the paper upon which Element is printed.

The Tasman mill at Kawerau uses roughly 500 GWh of electricity annually, about 230 GWh of which is generated on site. Electricity accounts for about half the variable cost of newsprint production; reducing its use and cost is key if the mill is to remain a low-cost operator.

Norske Skog Tasman says the TOPP1 plant delivers electricity at a variable cost about a third lower than what the company would expect to pay on-market.

In recent months the company has increased TOPP1’s net power output by about 1 MW to 21.5 MW by reducing parasitic load through improvements in control loop tuning, more accurate instrument calibration, and fixing programming errors.

Norske Skog Tasman also actively manages its pulp production to minimise electricity and transmission costs, and earlier this year the company started running the paper machine slower, reducing its energy use by 0.2 MWh per tonne of newsprint.

The mill developed its PowerTool computer model – which combines data on the value of pulp storage with forecast electricity prices and other factors like maintenance schedules to help operators optimise production.

Using this and other tools, the company has been able to shift production out of high-priced periods and trim its electricity bill. It has gained additional savings by offering load into the instantaneous reserves market.

In November Norske Skog Tasman became a dispatchable demand participant and since then has consistently offered dispatchable demand bids at one of its grid exit points.

The company says being ‘dispatched off’ provides more certainty for the mill than PowerTool, which relies on forecast electricity prices which don’t always eventuate.

The firm’s participation in the scheme has also benefited other consumers by capping wholesale power prices for those periods when the mill is dispatched off.

Norske Skog Tasman also says the cultural shift within the business away from continuous production has been essential to maintaining the jobs of its 170 staff and 35 contractors, and the economic benefit the mill delivers to Kawerau and the forestry, engineering and transport industries in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Source: NZ Hearld Element Magazine

Photo: Supplied