Biomass, the Prime Energy Source
The Company is a leading operator in the renewable energy sector, as Portugal’s main producer of green energy from biomass.
This capability allows the Company to be self-sufficient and to generate surplus power that it feeds into the national grid.
The energy generated at The Navigator Company's three industrial sites (link to sites) is produced in two distinct ways:
- Electricity generated at biomass co-generation plants (CHP) and natural gas co-generation plants: these facilities produce both electricity and heat, and this thermal energy is used in its entirety in manufacturing processes for pulp and paper.
- Electricity generated by biomass power stations: these produce electricity only. Their other defining feature is that 100% of the power produced is fed into the national grid.
Production and Consumption of Thermal Energy
Thermal energy (heat) is fundamental in the cellulose and paper industry, and more energy is used in this form than as electricity.
The quest for higher levels of energy efficiency is one of the Company's fundamental aims. This has led it to invest continuously in rationalising energy use in the production process.
This capital investment, reflected in the energy rationalisation plans, has made it possible to cut overall energy consumption by the Company.
The biomass used to generate electricity at The Navigator Company's three industrial sites is derived from by-products and waste from the raw material used in the production process:
- Waste from debarking timber and from forestry operations: sawdust and woodchip screening residues.
- Black liquor - by-product from the cooking of wood.
In addition to this biomass, the Company purchases forest waste biomass on the market, principally for the two biomass power stations at the Cacia and Setúbal industrial sites, to complement the Company's total biomass needs.
All power generated at the Company's industrial units is produced, whenever possible, on a co-generation basis. Cogeneration consists of simultaneously producing electrical power and heat, in order to increase the overall efficiency of energy production.
Bioenergy and Fossil Fuels
The two biomass power stations at the Cacia and Setúbal Industrial Complexes and the three biomass co-generation plants have allowed it to consolidate its dominant position in the Portuguese renewable energy sector.
The great benefit in terms of reduced CO2 emissions will have an impact on the national balance for these emissions and will reduce Portugal’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
It is estimated that these power stations belonging to The Navigator Company will avoid CO2 emissions in excess of 460 thousand tons on the national balance sheet. This is yet another example of how The Navigator Company has helped Portugal achieve its ambitions.