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Letters to the Editor

N Swain - Mercury 30/11/2007

30 Nov 2007

Naomi Swain asks why the pulp mill effluent is not able to be recycled (Letters
30/11/07). The effluent from the pulp mill cannot be recycled because it is too
saline. This has nothing to do with the chemical content of the effluent, which
is very low and would be safe enough to drink, it is because it has the salt
content of sea water and desalination is economically prohibitive.

It is important to note that the water that will go through the mill is being
diverted from the allocation owned by the Trevallyn Power Station. This
allocation currently passes through the Power Station and creates 0.8 Mega
Watts of electricity and then flows out into the ocean. It is not currently
recycled after it has been utilised for its current purpose. It is not available for
irrigation for farmers or to supply the city.

The Trevallyn Power Station sold the 26 Giga Litres of water from their
allocation to the pulp mill. The pulp mill will generate approximately 200 Mega
Watts of electricity – 250 times what was being generated with this water
resource through the Power Station.

Of this 200 MW, approximately 100 MW will be available for sale back into the
electricity grid, offsetting the need to burn fossil fuels for power generation
and making the mill’s environmental footprint carbon positive.


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