Quin­lan Brothers up­grades Bay de Verde plant

New con­trol sys­tem for re­frig­er­a­tion nits will re­duce en­ergy costs

The Compass - - OPINION - BY ASH­LEY FITZPATRICK

Quin­lan Brothers Ltd. ex­pects a sys­tem its in­stalling at its Bay de Verde fish plant will save the company money by re­duc­ing en­ergy costs.

The provin­cial gov­ern­ment is cov­er­ing the in­stal­la­tion cost for the new con­trol sys­tem for re­frig­er­a­tion units, pro­vid­ing an au­to­matic shut­off when the units are not in use, in pro­cess­ing snow crab and shrimp.

The to­tal price tag for the sys­tem stands at about $250,000, ac­cord­ing to the vice-pres­i­dent of Quin­lan Brothers, Robin Quin­lan, who was on hand for a me­dia event to an­nounce the prov­ince’s con­tri­bu­tion in St. John’s last Wed­nes­day.

“This is the largest fa­cil­ity that we have, Bay de Verde, with re­gards to re­frig­er­a­tion equip­ment. This would be the best-case sce­nario, be­cause it’s the largest power bill that we have. So if there’s sav­ings that could be re­al­ized, we’ll see it there in a grand scale,” Quin­lan said.

The company will be kick­ing in $100,000 of its own funds and the re­main­ing $50,000 or so has been cov­ered un­der a pro­gram led by New­found­land Power, he said.

The provin­cial gov­ern­ment’s con­tri­bu­tion of $100,000 is non­re­payable, as op­posed to a re­payable gov­ern­ment loan.

It is be­ing pro­vided un­der the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture’s Fish­eries and Tech­nol­ogy New Op­por­tu­ni­ties Pro­gram.

The money is be­ing granted with the hope the sav­ings will, ul­ti­mately, spur other com­pa­nies to invest in en­ergy-sav­ing plant up­grades.

“If we can make the in­dus­try stronger and more com­pet­i­tive lo­cally, we’re ob­vi­ously mak­ing it stronger na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally,” Min­is­ter of Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture Vaughan Gran­ter told re­porters when asked about the re­turns.

If ef­fec­tive, the sys­tem is ex­pected to pay for it­self in just two years.

“If this sys­tem works and we can ob­tain the pro­jected sav­ings that we an­tic­i­pate, or that’s been given to us in an es­ti­mated form, we would most cer­tainly in­stall th­ese sys­tems in the re­main­der of our plants,” Quin­lan said. “Over­all, that’s a sig­nif­i­cant amount of pro­cess­ing ca­pac­ity here on the is­land that would be fit­ted with th­ese power sav­ing sys­tems.”

Gran­ter said the ap­pli­ca­tion for the en­ergy-ef­fi­cient sys­tem could ex­tend out­side of the fish­eries, to other man­u­fac­tur­ing and heavy in­dus­try.

“By mod­i­fy­ing ex­ist­ing tech­nolo­gies and adopt­ing new, ef­fi­cient equip­ment, the new sys­tem has the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate 10 to 15 per cent en­ergy sav­ings over­all,” he said.

The Quin­lan Brothers plant is part of an on­go­ing three-plant pi­lot study, be­ing led by the Cana­dian Cen­tre for Fish­eries In­no­va­tion. Quin­lan said the cen­tre ap­proached his company and asked it to take part in the study.

The other two plants in­volved are con­trolled by Allen’s Fish­eries Ltd. and Ocean Choice In­ter­na­tional. Fund­ing from the prov­ince for sys­tems at those plants was sim­i­larly an­nounced in Jan­uary, with each company set to re­ceive more than $75,000 for en­ergy-ef­fi­cient chill units to be in­stalled in the six weeks fol­low­ing.

The Cana­dian Cen­tre for Fish­eries In­no­va­tion is eval­u­at­ing the sys­tems as they are in­stalled.

— The Tele­gram

Com­pass file photo

A view of the pro­cess­ing plant in Bay de Verde.

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