Big steps with a small footprint Significant investments in sustainable production at Metsä Board Husum and Kemi mills, as well as the pre- engineering project at the Kaskinen mill, will support its customers with greater volumes and with a smaller environmental footprint.
Charlie Bass, photos: Metsä Group and Metsä Board
M etsä Board’s Kemi, Husum and Kaskinen mills are set to be the forerunners in sustainable paperboard production for decades to come. New energy and water-efficient production processes and fossil free energy generation are just a few examples of how Metsä Board is investing in its ability to supply customers with even greater volumes of premium-qual- ity, sustainably produced materials. Let’s take a look at each project site in more depth. Lining up long-term sustainability at Kemi Metsä Board’s investments at its Kemi mill are proof that increasing a mill’s production capacity doesn’t have to increase its energy and water consumption too. Such is Kemi’s standing in the white kraftliner market that the investments are set to have a positive impact on the car- bon footprint of the entire corrugated industry. “First and foremost with this investment, we’re secur- ing the long-term supply of premium product for our customers in corrugated materials production, as well as ensuring consistently high service and product qual- ity for at least the next 40 years,” says Lars Ericson , VP Sales, White Kraftliner, Metsä Board. “Kemi is a vital building block in our sustainable growth strategy. Our kraftliner customers will get the same great and trusted product now with a smaller en- vironmental footprint. This will allow them to address the increasing pressure from brand owners and con- sumers to make packaging more sustainable.”
A €67 million investment, the Kemi project con- stitutes an increase in annual production capacity of 40,000 tonnes, investments in energy and water effi- ciency, and closer integration with the new on-site bio- product mill. It is expected that after the project is com- plete, the paperboard mill’s water consumption will be reduced by about 40 per cent, and its energy consump- tion by about 5 per cent, per tonne of product. Metsä Fibre’s new bioproduct mill will supply steam, white liquor and water for unbleached pulp and paper- board production, with condensation water and black liquor going the other way. The amount of steam need- ed to dry paperboard will be reduced by using dried baled pulp instead of wet birch pulp in the surface layer of paperboard. In tandem, the mill’s heat recovery tow- ers have been renewed, meaning they will be able to re- cover waste process heat more efficiently and recycle it back into the process. “Put simply, this is the right thing to do. In many ways, you could say that the increase in capacity is a positive side effect of this investment,” Ericson points out. “The primary goal is to make a positive impact on our customers’ sustainability targets and on society and the planet as a whole by transforming our own operations in a more resource-efficient direction.” For example, the closer integration with the bioprod- uct mill is a great example of how Metsä Board is build- ing efficiencies throughout the production chain. This integration will mean better visibility of the efficiency
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