In addition to our core business of market pulp production, we produce significant quantities of renewable electricity, generating over 359,000 MWh of electricity in 2009. This surplus energy is a by-product of pulp production. About 45% of the wood fed into the mill becomes kraft pulp. The remaining 55% is converted to a biofuel known as black liquor, and is burned in our modern recovery boiler to make power. More specifically, lignin and hemi-cellulose are extracted from wood fiber, which becomes a source of fuel in our boiler to make steam which in turn is used to generate electricity.
As a renewable resource, wood is considered carbon neutral and energy produced from wood is therefore labeled 'green' as opposed to the 'brown' energy produced from non-renewable coal, for example.
Celgar generates more energy than is consumed in the mill. The surplus energy is fed into the power grid, providing sufficient electricity for a city of approximately 7,000. Once the green energy project is on-line in Q4 of 2010, Celgar will be exporting enough electricity to power a city of 25,000.