Deloitte Energy Awards

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

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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.

“The Tas­man mill at Kaw­erau uses roughly 500 GWh of elec­tric­ity an­nu­ally, about 230 GWh of which is gen­er­ated on site.”

Norske Skog panorama: The Norske Skog Tas­man plant in Kaw­erau.

From left to right: Judge Si­mon Coates, the Norske Skog Tas­man ex­ec­u­tive team Alex Find­lay, Alan Sedg­man, Aaron Buist, Allan Holden with El­e­ment editor James Rus­sell.

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