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Montreal’s Lantic Sugar Refinery goes on a diet, to reduce … energy

May 27, 2024    2 min.

Lantic Sugar has been around for more than 130 years, producing granulated sugar, icing sugar, brown sugar and liquid sugar, as well as specialty syrups and sweeteners. The business is strongly focused on sustainability and working hard to reduce its environmental footprint. One way it’s done that is through a project to decarbonize its Montreal refinery, which processes over 580,000 tonnes of sugar cane annually.

Refining processes

Refining sugar cane calls for industrial processes that use a lot of energy. That’s why in recent years the Lantic’s Montreal plant has successfully implemented a number of energy-saving projects, all with support from Énergir energy efficiency programs. The refinery, however, wanted intensify its efforts to reduce its consumption of natural gas as a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The challenge of heat recovery

Most of the refinery’s natural gas consumption goes to making steam. And the way the process works means that much of the thermal energy produced is ultimately released in the form of low-temperature liquid effluent, which is difficult to use for heat recovery. To solve that problem, Lantic brought in Ecosystem Energy Services, a specialist in decarbonization and optimal use of energy. After conducting an in-depth analysis of refinery operations, Ecosystem developed, implemented, and fine-tuned two heat-recovery strategies:

  • Recovering heat from the low temperature effluent of one of the barometric condensers to heat a process-water tank, eliminating the need for steam injection.
  • Putting in an indirect-contact recovery system to reuse heat from the stack of one of the steam boilers.

The two systems were able to recover free, already-existing energy, improving the efficiency of the process by reusing thermal energy for targeted applications.

Énergir: Expertise to get the most out of the subsidies available

Lantic also worked with Energir’s DATECH team on the project, helping them make full use of available subsidies (such as by scheduling completion dates to spread the project over two separate fiscal years). Lantic was thus able to get $175,000 in support for each part of the project, for a total of $350,000 from the Studies and Implementation program.

One step closer to decarbonization

The work done by Ecosystem will eliminate about 4,350 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year and reduce natural gas consumption by 2.3 million m3. It will also save over 13,000 m3 of cooling water and reduce operating costs.

“By taking a holistic approach that considers system interactions, we maximized our project’s potential and met our financial and environmental objectives,” says Karl Fortier, Corporate Engineering Director, Lantic refinery in Montreal.

Energy that’s contagious

Since then, Lantic has undertaken more energy efficiency projects and continues to work with Énergir to identify new opportunities for improvement.

Donald Beverly.
Leader, Energy expertise

Photo credit : Rogers Sugar website

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