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Benchmarking Paper Mill Energy Efficiency and GHG Emissions

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White Paper

Subhash Deodhar, Senior Consultant, Fisher International

Paper mills are fairly large consumers of thermal and electrical energy. Thermal energy is used mostly to dry paper by way of steam. Efficient use of energy is certainly an integral part of good paper mill operation. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are closely linked to overall energy usage, but also depend upon types of fuels used. This paper compares energy usage and GHG emissions at paper mills in major paper producer countries.

The analysis draws on detailed process-equipment and production data for some 3,500 paper mills worldwide as described in FisherSolve™. We’ve used the platform’s analytics which model energy consumption for each mill and machine, as well as its benchmarking tools which track GHG emissions by source for each line at any stage from cradle to destination. For this article, the data was rolled up to the country level, but the analysis can also be done by drilling down to the company, mill, line, and machine levels to make comparisons that are meaningful to distinct projects.

Overall energy usage is dictated by the grade of paper manufactured. Another major factor is the source of pulp. Pulp may come from an integrated virgin pulp mill or it may come from a wastepaper recycling operation. In some instances the mill may be buying pulp from a market pulp mill located anywhere in the world. So any valid comparison has to be made between mills making similar grades and having similar pulp source.

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