Since 1980 EKONO has completed over 900 project assignments. The most important group of the customers are pulp and paper companies and equipment suppliers in North American and Nordic countries, such as Weyerhaeuser, Georgia-Pacific, Tembec, Buckeye Technologies, UPM-Kymmene, and Stora-Enso. In addition to the pulp and paper companies, EKONO's expertise in the pulp and paper business and processes has also been recognized by several well known institutions such as AF&PA, NCASI, CEFIC, STFI, and Forest Industries, Finland. For example, in 1997 AF&PA retained EKONO to conduct an extensive literature review comparing ECF and TCF pulp production processes with respect to pulp quality, environmental effects and operating/capital costs. Also, NCASI retained EKONO to help them identify and evaluate technologies to meet the Kyoto agreement, which requires countries to lower their carbon dioxide emissions by 6-8% below the 1990 level.
A brief overview of EKONO's projects is given below. More detailed references are available on request.
Recent Process Design Engineering Services include, for example, process engineering assistance for the installation of oxygen delignification and process debottlenecking measures in a North American pulp mill. Our services include prefeasibility and feasibility studies, process conceptual design, Class 10 cost estimate process design assistance in the digester, brown stock, oxygen delignification, bleaching, pulp dryer and recovery areas. The tasks also include pulp washing evaluations, total mill balances for energy, steam, water and liquor loop, process reliability and environmental evaluations as well operating costs determination. Another example is the process engineering services that we provide to sulfite mills, EKONO being one of the few companies to retain the sulfite process expertise.
Mill Debottlenecking Studies are typically feasibility level evaluations to determine opportunities to increase plant throughput and result in Class 25 capital and operating cost estimates for the alternatives. Recent examples are the debottlenecking of all departments in a bleached kraft mill enabling a 15% production increase, and the debottlenecking of a pulp dryer to increase mill production by 5%.
Several Efficiency, Energy and Environmental Audits in pulp and paper mills both in North America and Scandinavia. The key objective of these audits is to provide a quick assessment of the mill's situation conducted by a small team of professionals. The specific objectives of these audits vary but typically include one or more of the following: energy and water, bleaching chemicals, recovery loop chemicals, wood yield, staffing and environment.
Byproducts from the pulp and paper mills have often been a neglected area although they can represent several million dollars in revenues for an average pulp mill. EKONO has conducted several Studies on Byproducts including soap, soap derivatives, turpentine, lignosulfonates, xylose, alcohol and acetic acid.
Energy Audits in pulp and paper mills both in North America and Scandinavia. The specific objectives of these audits include: identification of improvement opportunities in energy and water systems, setting energy efficiency targets, and evaluation of new boiler requirements. The most recent clients include a US east coast fine paper mill, a midwest coated groundwood paper mill and several mills in Finland.
Energy Conservation Feasibility Studies on energy conservation opportunities require a more comprehensive evaluation including the establishment of detailed steam and power balances, secondary heat balances, and a "pinch-type" identification and prioritization of energy conservation measures and result in Class 25 capital and operating cost estimates for the alternatives.
The Kyoto agreement requires countries to lower their Carbon Dioxide Emissions to 6-8% below the 1990 level. In November 1997, NCASI retained EKONO to (1) identify energy-saving technologies of potential use to facilities producing pulp, paper, paperboard, lumber or wood panels, and (2) to develop simulation models for estimating the costs for the US pulp and paper industry to meet the Kyoto agreement.
Environmental Compliance Projects, including the establishment of pollutant sources, quantification of the reduction requirements or reasons for excursions, planning of measures to reduce the discharges of different effluent parameters such as BOD, TSS, Color, AOX, COD, toxicity, manganese, etc., in many mills.
Water Conservation Projects, including the development of detailed water and sewer flow and heat balances, conceptual design and prioritization of water conservation projects for many mills.
Effluent Treatment Projects involving conceptual design and comparison of treatment concepts for AST installations, evaluation and improvement of the performance of ASB's in several mills.
Color Reduction Projects including the evaluation of essentially all known color reduction technologies for three pulp mill clients.
TRS Reduction and NCG Handling Projects. EKONO is one of the few true unbiased consultants in this field to understand the process, design the concepts and undertake trouble shooting. Recent project examples include conceptual and process design for condensate stripping and odor reduction in a Canadian pulp mill; process design of the TRS reduction in an Eastern Canadian mill; and troubleshooting of the NCG system at a US mill.
CO2 Emissions Reduction Projects, including identification of commercially available technologies and operating practices that forest products industry facilities might consider to lower CO2 emissions and energy consumption, for NCASI, in USA.
Environmental Performance, Legislation and Technology in Pulp and Paper Industry. This annual multi-client study documents the actual performance in selected areas of the world, both with respect to air and to water emissions. Environmental standards are compared as well as trends in the legislation. Available technology for emissions reduction is reviewed, together with an assessment of the results achieved and the viability of various technologies. This study is updated on an annual basis.