Financial assistance of nearly

$3 million

Energy savings of
55.7 GWh

Pulp Mill Manager – Chantiers Chibougamau

Financial assistance of nearly

$3 million

Energy savings of
55.7 GWh

Wood processing

For over 60 years, Chantiers Chibougamau has manufactured and marketed highly competitive forest products that are tailored to consumers’ increasing concern for sustainability. In 2017, the company, which is the largest employer in the administrative region of Nord‑du‑Québec, committed to reopening the kraft pulp mill, which had closed in 2005. Recognized for its wood construction products, the mill has been manufacturing kraft pulp since 2020. With a view to improving and optimizing its activities, Chantiers Chibougamau turned to the Hydro‑Québec team to discuss their industrial processes and find ways to use energy more wisely.

Upgrading in support of a sustainable future

When Chantiers Chibougamau purchased the kraft pulp mill in Lebel‑sur‑Quévillon, now called Nordic Kraft, the company hoped that the reopened mill would achieve the same level of production as when it was closed down. Given Chantiers Chibougamau’s corporate culture—evident throughout its facilities—it was natural for the company to strive to go even further, namely to optimize operations in its facilities as well as energy production. To do so, several processes were upgraded and digitized. The mill subsequently increased the capacity of certain key steps in the manufacturing process and significantly reduced its energy use.

The main solution proposed by the Chantiers Chibougamau team, in collaboration with the experts from Hydro‑Québec, was the construction of a new chlorine dioxide (ClO2) production workshop. Chlorine dioxide is a key chemical component used to bleach the pulp in order to meet the needs of tissue product or food packaging manufacturers who want to offer their customers a white product.

Chlorine dioxide workshop – Chantiers Chibougamau

By upgrading this process, Chantiers Chibougamau was able to limit its energy use and, in turn, its GHG emissions. Modifying the generator also simplified the process and stabilized the chemical components, resulting in safer mill operations.

The mill can now bleach a larger quantity of pulp and meet the ever-increasing demand for toilet paper and other, more ecofriendly household products. Made with renewable, biodegradable and recyclable material, kraft pulp products replace single‑use plastics.

Chlorine dioxide workshop – Chantiers Chibougamau

The company’s upgraded workshop allowed it to decrease its annual energy use by 55.7 GWh. This represents the electricity used by a little over 3,200 homes.

“This energy efficiency and optimization project, which will certainly not be the last when it comes to reducing our new mill’s significant environmental footprint, is a reflection of our firm desire to review and upgrade every component of this energy‑intensive process as quickly as possible. Thanks to this project, we will be able to produce a more affordable and environmentally friendly pulp in Québec, and in the process, we’ll be freeing up a lot of green energy for other basic needs.”

— Frédéric Verreault, Executive Director, Corporate Development, Chantiers Chibougamau

The Nordic Kraft mill in Lebel‑sur‑Quévillon is a pillar of the ecosystem of Québec sawmills, from the Québec–Ontario border to the Côte‑Nord region, as the kraft pulp manufacturing process makes use of sawmill wood waste and wood chips.

Close collaboration

The Hydro‑Québec team supported the company in its efforts to apply for financial assistance for the implementation of energy efficiency measures. Engineers from Hydro‑Québec visited the premises in advance to fully understand the objectives and planned changes and to evaluate the potential financial. Thanks to the Efficient Solutions Program, Chantiers Chibougamau benefited from close to $3 million and will achieve recurring annual savings. By using less energy, the company is contributing to a more sustainable future.

“I am delighted to have participated in this remarkable project. With this truly integrated approach involving the area’s sawmills, a high‑quality wood fiber is put to good use and economic activity is given a boost.”

— René Bellemare, Sales Engineer, Hydro‑Québec

“A project of this scope requires close collaboration with the different Hydro‑Québec stakeholders and the customer, who did not hesitate to put their trust in us. I was very pleased to be involved.”

— Julie Boulianne, Commercial Delegate – Large Power, Hydro‑Québec

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