Webinar: Thermomechanical pulping (TMP) of the Future: Potential Avenues and Energy Integration Aspects

Organized by Natural Resources Canada and PAPTAC
Organisé par Ressources Naturelles Canada et PAPTAC


Sept. 9, 2020 14:00 – 15:00 ET


Hakim Ghezzaz & Etienne Bernier, CanmetENERGY

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The Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC), in collaboration with the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) will be hosting a series of webinar on opportunities for advanced manufacturing in Canada’s forest sector. The purpose of the webinar is to share knowledge on emerging or commercially available technologies with industry and demonstrate how they can be implemented.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented economic turbulence and lower demand for almost all forest products, as well as increased operating costs in order to ensure health and safety of workers. More importantly, COVID-19 compounds existing challenges including declining timber supply due to wildfires and pests, trade disputes with the U.S., and declining demand for printing and writing paper products.

Both NRCan and PAPTAC actively support the forest sector transformation and view advanced manufacturing as a key strategy to make the sector more competitive and resilient. While great strides were made over the past decades on energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in the forest sector, NRCan and PAPTAC are fully committed to build on that momentum and provide industry the tools required to realize the full potential of the circular bioeconomy.


With the decline of market demand for newsprint and the rising demand for packaging material, Canadian thermomechanical pulping (TMP) mills have to evaluate their potential to enter new markets and produce new products. In addition, Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions by 30% below 2005 levels, by 2030, while Canadian pulp and paper industry was responsible for 6.8 MtCO2e in 2016, not counting biogenic emissions. In response to these challenges, TMP mills should explore different transformation avenues.

In this webinar, different business transformation paths for TMP mills will be addressed, considering the production for new pulp and paper products and the implementation of biorefinery technologies, highlighting the associated barriers, challenges, and key success factors. In addition, different opportunities will be presented for TMP mills to reduce their operating costs by a better energy management and implementation of new energy efficient wood refining technologies such as inter-stage fractionation and low consistency refining. The webinar will be concluded by discussing the impact of those transformation paths on the mill energy profile and related energy integration aspects.

Hakim Ghezzaz
Process engineer
CanmetENERGY Research Centre
Natural Resources Canada

Hakim Ghezzaz holds a MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal. In 2011. he joined Cascades R&D Centre where he conducted many projects in process and product design, detailed engineering and process troubleshooting. Since 2015, he works as a process engineer at the CanmetENERGY Research Centre of Natural Resources Canada. His research interests include applied thermodynamics, process systems engineering and multivariate statistical techniques. He has also participated in energy integration and optimization studies in several Canadian pulp and paper mills.

Etienne Bernier holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal. Since 2012, he works as a process engineer with CanmetENERGY, a research centre of Natural Resources Canada. He participated in the development of the COGEN software to optimize the design and operation of industrial cogeneration systems. He has also participated in energy efficiency studies in several Canadian pulp and paper mills, with a focus on cogeneration, process integration and fresh water preheating networks.

Etienne Bernier
Process engineer
Research Centre
Natural Resources Canada