Latest megaload for pulp mill

Hauler seeks approval to move giant evaporator on U.S. Highway 12 bound for tissue pulp mill in Canada

By Elaine Williams of the Tribune
May 21, 2011

An evaporator manufactured in China for a Weyerhaeuser tissue pulp mill will reduce the plant’s water consumption as it helps create 23 megawatt hours of green electricity.

Nickel Bros., a hauler, has requested a permit from the Idaho Transportation Department to truck the evaporator from the Port of Lewiston to the Montana border on U.S. Highway 12.

If ITD grants it, the evaporator could be the sixth megaload to use U.S. Highway 12 this year. It would be 24 feet wide, 25 feet tall and 184 feet long counting transport equipment. It would have to meet unspecified requirements so that it could accommodate other traffic on the mostly two-lane U.S. 12.

The evaporator, made by a company called HPD, would be shipped across the ocean to the Port of Vancover, Wash., then barged to the Port of Lewiston, where it would be unloaded for the road portion of its journey to Grande Prairie in Alberta, Canada, said Bruce Amundson, a spokesman for Weyerhaeuser in Federal Way, Wash.

The $70 million evaporator is part of a project that’s been under way for more than five years to make the factory powered by waste products from pulp making more environmentally friendly, said Wayne Roznowsky, a Weyerhaeuser spokesman in Grande Prairie.

A recovery boiler was replaced in 2007 at a cost of $240 million, followed by a turbine in March for an additional $52 million, Roznowsky said.

The evaporator will free up enough steam to generate 23 megawatt hours of electricity that will be put on Alberta’s grid, replacing energy that would otherwise likely come from coal-fired facilities, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Roznowsky said.

At the same time, it will decrease the chemicals and water the plant uses, improving its discharge into the Wapiti River, Roznowsky wrote in an email.

The evaporator replaces a 39-year-old machine at the plant, which employs about 350 people. Weyerhaeuser anticipates construction crews will swell to as many as 200 people during the evaporator’s installation,
Roznowsky said.

Williams may be contacted at [email protected] or (208) 848-2261.