Moose River Lumber Case Study, Jackman, Maine - Industrial, Biomass Boilers

Moose River Lumber Company - Jackman, Maine

Moose River Lumber Company

"We worked with Thermal Systems before so when we considered biomass, of course, we called Bob Waller. We're saving approximately $800,000 annually and will achieve payback ahead of schedule." Charlie Lumbert, owner, Moose River Lumber Co.

Moose in Maine woods

"Moose River Lumber is a producer of high quality Eastern SPF kiln dried Dimension lumber. They currently produce 300,000 BF per shift. That translates to about 120 million board feet per year. In business since 1976, Moose River Lumber prides itself on providing a quality product, combined with outstanding service and delivery, at competitive prices." -

Keeping the mill running while transitioning to a new heating system could have been an operational headache. According to mill owner Charlie Lumbert, the team from Thermal Systems handled the complete project with minimal disruption.

"It was a turn-key operation," explained Lumbert. "Thermal Systems provided the biomass system, planned the project and hired all the sub contractors needed to build the complete job. Everything worked as planned. They did a great job. Now we are using our mill residue - sawdust, chips and shavings as biomass fuel and have all but eliminated our fuel oil expense."

To ensure a smooth transition, Thermal Systems assigned a project manager who stayed on site throughout the entire project. The weather caused a slight delay at the start of the project but everything progressed smoothly once they were under way.

Transitioning to a biomass system to produce the steam necessary to heat the buildings and the drying kilns has resulted in a savings of approximately $800,000 annually. Thermal Systems calculated a three-year payback at the start of the project but Lumbert expects it to be a shorter time-frame. Although the old boiler was preserved as a backup, they haven't needed it.

biomass boiler
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Equipment and System Changes:

  • Biomass boiler -
  • Biomass fuel storage
  • Biomass delivery and reclaim system
  • Boiler feed water storage and treatment
  • Building and fuel shed
  • Expandable to electric cogeneration

The Project:

Thermal Systems, Inc. provided EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) services which included a Hurst super 600 hp, hybrid - type, biomass boiler. The boiler is equipped with a reciprocating sloped grate stoker. This close coupled gasifier is ideally suited to burn sawdust, shavings, chips and bark with moistures to 55%. Also included is a 100 ton biomass "live" fuel storage system.

Presently the boiler operations provides 20,000 pph of steam to the dry kilns and Mill heating systems. Future operations call for the installation of a 600 kW steam/turbine generator set to cogenerate electricity. This will reduce purchased electricity by 33%


Replace 500,000 gallons annual fuel consumption $800,000 annual savings Payback ahead of schedule Minimal transition issues Little to no interruption of mill operations

mill steam components

Super 600 hp
with reciprocating grate

structural steel

Structural Steel for
Fuel Reclaim System

Biomass Boiler

Biomass Boiler will serve
all mill steam requirements

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