Saint-Gobain Installs Heat Recovery System to Power Dryers at Drywall Manufacturing Plant in Vancouver

Feb. 26, 2024
The waste heat emitted from the dryer will be captured and recycled, maintaining the dryer’s temperature while consuming less energy and reducing the facility’s CO2 emissions

Saint-Gobain – through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed Canada – has installed a heat exchanger system on its industrial drywall board dryer at its gypsum facility outside Vancouver, British Columbia, to reduce the plant’s Scope 1 CO2 emissions by nearly 15%.

The company’s gypsum wallboard is produced by pouring and drying a gypsum slurry between two sheets of paper. During this process, the wallboard passes through a large, heated dryer to solidify the wallboard and remove moisture from the product.

With the new heat exchanger system, this waste heat emitted from the dryer will now be captured and recycled, allowing the plant to maintain the dryer’s temperature while consuming less energy and reducing the facility’s CO2 emissions.

This upgrade aligns with Saint-Gobain’s “Grow and Impact” strategy, which seeks to reduce the company’s energy consumption and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The project represents a nearly $7 million CAD investment, with $2.9 million CAD coming from grants, including $1.4 million CAD from the CleanBC Industry Fund program and $1.5 million CAD from FortisBC Energy’s Custom Efficiency program.

This project at CertainTeed’s plant in Vancouver – the only gypsum wallboard manufacturing facility in British Columbia – represents a significant advancement in the company’s goals to reduce its environmental impact.

In 2023, the facility surpassed 1 million tons of recycled gypsum returned to production – the equivalent of enough wallboard for 250,000 homes. The company is also working towards electrifying its gypsum plant outside of Montreal, which, according to CertainTeed, will be the first net-zero carbon wallboard plant in North America for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.