July 25, 2005

Fibreboard producer hosts first Canadian installation of new wood waste system

Flakeboard, a leading producer of particleboard and medium-density fibreboard (MDF), including its own Fibrex(r) high density thin MDF, has joined the Alternative Green Energy System (AGES) consortium of companies supporting a project to demonstrate the first KDS3000-W installation in Canada. The wood waste-to-energy system incorporates the patented KDS Micronex(tm) technology developed by First American Scientific Corp (FASC), a partner in the Quebec City-based consortium. Other members include Thermix Combustion Systems and Hydro-Quebec CapiTech.

Flakeboard has made a major commitment to the project. In addition to hosting the KDS3000-W at its St Stephen, New Brunswick operation, the company has agreed to install all infrastructure equipment to handle the wood waste to be processed and to convey and store the fuel dust after it has been processed. The company's total investment covers a reclaimer, silo, various conveyors, a major area electric upgrade, DCS modifications and a civil engineering project to site and enclose all the equipment.

The project was also selected to receive support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) during its fifth funding round last October. AGES reports that the final contribution agreement with SDTC has just been signed.

SDTC's funding assistance is essential for the design and construction of the KDS 3000-W wet biomass processing machine. The new, commercially viable unit has been completely redesigned to facilitate a high level of water extraction. It will receive wet wood waste with an average moisture content of 35% or higher and will mechanically convert and de-water the material into dry biomass fuel with specific properties of retained moisture and particle size. This will enable the processed material to be burned in a suspension dust burner system.

The resulting fuel, with a heat value of up to 15 Million BTU/processed ton, will be used as a substitute for natural gas and fuel oil in a large industrial hot gas dryer.

More information is available on the AGES or FASC Web sites, www.ages-biomass.com, www.fasc.net.

In other developments, FASC's new model, the KDS-MF 777, is in full operation at the first-ever renewable green energy cogeneration power plant to be connected to the power grid in Malaysia. The 14-megawatt (MW) TSH Biomass power plant in Kunak, Sabah, Malaysia came online in December 2004 and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, generating electrical energy and steam for its palm oil operations with the KDS at its core.

The KDS-MF 777 was designed and fabricated specifically for the palm oil industry by FASC-Malaysia (FASCM), a subsidiary of the Vancouver parent company. The unit, an upscaled version of the KDS250, processes seven tonnes per hour of palm oil industry biomass, consisting of empty fruit bunches, shells and fibre.

Noel Wambeck, consulting engineer and partner in FASCM, said the KDS-MF 777 "is responsible for a 30 % increase in efficiency of the power plant's operation." He noted that three of the systems will be purchased for the initial location, with three more to be purchased by its sister plant in East Malaysia.

The technology will also help the Malaysian government implement its Small Renewable Energy Power (SREP) program, which is supporting the creation of 500 MW of new green power over the next five years. The KDS MF-777 is considered integral to the economic feasibility of the program, and FASCM has found 58 prime palm oil operations capable of recycling their own waste biomass to produce "green" power. The company expects to install 30 similar systems within the next five years in Malaysia alone.

FASC holds a 50% interest in FASCM, its exclusive licensee in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. The new KDS-MF 777 technology (patents pending) is owned 100 % by FASC and will be utilized in its operations worldwide.

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