Canadian Consulting Engineer

Stantec to design biomass cogeneration plant in Quebec

May 21, 2024
By CCE

Atikamekw community of Opitciwan

Photo courtesy Stantec.

The Onimiskiw Opitciwan Limited Partnership has selected consulting engineering firm Stantec to design a biomass cogeneration plant for the Atikamekw community of Opitciwan in the Mauricie region of Quebec.

The project aims to accelerate the energy transition for First Nations in Quebec and promote social and economic development. The 4.8-MW plant will convert biomass generated by Opitciwan’s existing sawmill—including bark, wood chips and other organic waste—into both electricity and heat for the community. While it will be connected to Hydro-Quebec’s grid, it will also supply power to the sawmill through 4.16- and 25-kV feeders.

“This long-awaited project will have major economic, environmental and social benefits for current and future members of the Opitciwan community,” says Denis Clary, president of the Onimiskiw Opitciwan Limited Partnership.

The installation will be the first biomass cogeneration plant in Quebec to use organic Rankine cycle (ORC) technology, which produces electricity from residual heat sources. The project will reduce heavy transport on the road to Opitciwan—which is located on the north shore of the Gouin Reservoir, 220 km northwest of La Tuque, Que.—that was previously attributed to the transportation of diesel, sawmill bark and raw timber. It will reportedly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 13,000 tonnes in CO2 equivalent per year.

“We are proud and honoured to partner with the Atikamekw community on this innovative project,” says Frédéric Lefebvre, Stantec’s vice-president (VP) of energy.

Work is scheduled to begin this summer and the plant is expected to be operational by fall 2026. In addition to detailed engineering, Stantec will provide technical support during procurement, construction and commissioning.

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