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West Fraser’s Quesnel River Pulp to receive up to $1 million from FortisBC for reducing energy consumption

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West Fraser’s Quesnel River Pulp to receive up to $1 million from FortisBC for reducing energy consumption

December 12, 2012 - 08:35
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QUESNEL, BC, Dec. 12, 2012 (CNW) -Quesnel River Pulp, a division of West Fraser, has made significant commitments to reducing its energy consumption. For those achievements, the mill has received a $250,000 incentive from FortisBC, which could grow to $1 million over the next three years. The pulp mill is the first participant in FortisBC's Industrial Technology Retrofit Program, which offers monetary incentives to industrial natural gas customers in exchange for energy efficiency improvement projects.

"Incentives like this make significant commitments to energy reduction for industrial customers viable," said Doug Stout, vice president of energy solutions and external relations for FortisBC. "We're thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with West Fraser, and we look forward to working with industrial customers to assist in improving the efficiency of their operations."

By undertaking the program, Quesnel River Pulp will receive funding up to 50 per cent of the cost of its energy efficient upgrades, to a maximum of $1 million. The incentive from FortisBC covers the costs of the project, including new equipment, installation and old equipment removal, including taxes. With the aid of the incentive, Quesnel River Pulp may be able to reduce the payback period on its equipment investment within a few years.

"The incentive from FortisBC offers significant value to our operation. Our plant process uses a lot of energy, and this partnership with FortisBC has allowed us to make smart decisions with respect to equipment upgrades," said Keith Carter, general manager of Quesnel River Pulp. "These upgrades reduce our dependence on fossil fuel energy sources and create savings which are critical to the competitiveness of our business."

A major component contributing to the efficiency was the replacement of heat exchangers with more efficient spiral-wound units. The new units reduce the amount of natural gas required for drying the pulp. The pulp mill will save approximately 70,000 gigajoules (GJs) of natural gas annually, the equivalent amount of natural gas consumed by all customers in the city of Vancouver over the course of two days.1 The savings will also amount to an estimated 3,317 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 650 cars off the road per year.2

The Industrial technology Retrofit Program is available for FortisBC industrial customers who use more than 10,000 GJs for process heating. Depending on consumption, participants have the option of receiving up to 75 per cent of the cost of implementing new equipment up to a maximum of $375,000, or receiving up to 50 per cent of the cost to a maximum of $1 million. Industrial customers can learn if this program is right for them by contacting FortisBC at 1-888-224-2710 or visiting their website at

FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC employs more than 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines and approximately 47,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. do business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at or

1 Based on 2010 average annual natural gas consumption by residential customers within the city of Vancouver.

2 Based on calculations through the EPA calculator: