Great Northern paper

Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby KSmitty » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:23 am

Potential bad news for GNP as Nova Scotia looks to subsidized a soon to reopen paper mill. Would make reopening atleast one machine at Millinocket proper.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/27/b ... f-tariffs/
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby KSmitty » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:10 am

Permitting basically done for the torrefied wood project. One permit is issued, the second should be approved by Oct. 1.
http://bangordailynews.com/2012/09/04/b ... llinocket/
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby fogg1703 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:58 am

Did MMA keep some woodchip hoppers just in case the Torrified Pellets shipments to Searsport for export comes to fruition or did they sell them to MNR?
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby KSmitty » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:59 pm

Maybe I've misunderstood all along, but I'm under the impression the torrefied wood was to be handled more like coal than wood. Based on that I'd assume they would be handled in open hoppers with drop bottoms and not in chip cars.
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby fogg1703 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:20 pm

Given the fact that this is a new process here in the US I assumed the ever resourceful Mainers would use existing equipment modified for the service. After all there are some former BAR employees remaining at Derby. I suppose drop bottom gons would speed up the process but require a larger investment in Searsport.
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby KSmitty » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:25 pm

I don't know, I was just basing on assumption. Economically chippers would be cheaper, but the present several issues. Chief problem is the lack of a drop bottom and a slow unloading process. This will be a short haul, so unless they can turn stuff quickly trucks will have a natural edge...
Would be nice to see some rail back out onto the ocean, but I doubt that will happen...
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby gpp111 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:25 am

110,000 tons of annual torrified wood production sounds like a lot, but it is not. If a rail car holds 60 tons of torrified wood and the plant runs 7 days a week, this only produces 5 carloads per day by my math.
If a ship holds 40,000 tons, there would only be three ships a year calling at Searsport. If a truck holds 20 tons of wood, then this is 15 truckloads per day. The bigger need I would assume
would be a storage facility that would need to hold 4 months of production for each of the ships and a fast loading system.

The plant is the first of several that are planned, from what I have read. It would seem that this project will require some kind of storage and loading system at Searsport. They say that England will be where
this product will be shipped but I am wondering that perhaps they might have some domestic users in mind. Torrified wood burns like coal, so perhaps it could be readily used in the Northeast somewhere at coal
fired power stations that need to reduce CO2 emissions.
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby KSmitty » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:33 am

110,000 tons is planned starting levels. Early articles on the subject say production up to 1.1 million tons a year. Thats a much more sizeable number. I imagine that no matter what they produce the things you listed will be required. Storage for tons of this stuff and a good conveyor system. I wonder if they will involve Sprague? They havethe storage space and the conveyors, assuming they are reversbile...
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby gpp111 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:21 am

As they start construction at Millinocket of the first torrified wood plant lets watch what happens at Searsport for any new facility activities there. Quite a few coal fired power stations in the Northeast, including Canada, get their coal from ocean transport. Barges are loaded with coal in the Virginia tidewater and in Baltimore. So dock facilities to handle torrified wood shipments in Searsport could be used to satisfy demand for both international and domestic consumers.
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby Cowford » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:24 pm

Torrified wood is similar to coal in handling, but it has a lower bulk density. Open-top hoppers would be ideal... given the state of the coal market, it wouldn't be too difficult to snag some for a bargain price for lease or purchase... especially older, out-of-favor 4,000 cu ft 263K cars that would be able to carry 90+ tons of product. While volume is not game-changing, every bit helps. And this is nothing to sneeze at. If it winds up moving over Searsport, MMA should be able to win the business, but they'll need a sharp pencil. A trucker could run this volume with 5-10 tri-x dump trailers running ~32 tons over the back roads.
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby gpp111 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:36 pm

Even if the torrified wood moves via truck, there still will be some synergistic benefits to the MM&A. If Cate Street, owner of the Millinocket and East Millinocket paper mills makes money, from whatever source in the region, this helps stabilize all their operations in the area. It will be interesting to see where the initial product is shipped for sure.
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby gpp111 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:48 am

The UK's largest utility coal user has announced a 1 billion dollar plan to convert to burning wood. I assume this is where the torrified wood is probably destined. It will require forests four times the size of the State of Rhode Island yearly to satisfy this one company's demand.

http://newbiomass.com/our-products/torrefied-wood/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-2 ... nergy.html
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby CN9634 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:46 am

A large part of the goal is to use 'waste wood' from other mills.
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Re: Great Northern paper

Postby Cowford » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:40 pm

Interesting... the UK utility is the one that FE Wood (Mountain Sub's supposed anchor customer in Baldwin) was in discussions with last year. Man, be careful what you wish for: western Maine would quickly be deforested to feed this mammoth power plant!
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