At eight a.m. on Tuesday 12 June Iggesund Paperboard’s new recovery boiler and turbine came on line at Iggesund Mill. At almost 240 million Euro, this is the mill’s largest investment ever. The start-up also meant that the project team, including almost a thousand contractors, reached the finish line exactly on schedule.
“It feels terrific that the project has come to a successful conclusion, and that we’ve done so both within the projected time frame and without any significant mishaps or accidents,” comments Lennart Wanberg, Iggesund’s manager of the project. “We’ve focused very strongly on safety, not least because people have been working up to sixty metres above the ground.”
The recovery boiler is the “heart” of a sulphate pulp mill and serves this function at Iggesund Mill, which produces the world’s leading quality paperboard, Invercote. Despite the boiler’s key role, Iggesund managed the instantaneous switchover from the two old recovery boilers to the new one without any interruption in the production process. The boiler is also built to withstand higher pressure than any other recovery boiler in Europe, and will work with a steam pressure of 110 bar. This increased pressure makes it possible to generate more electricity. The new turbine should be able to supply 520 GWh/year and in the longer term also make Iggesund Mill completely self-sufficient in electricity. When exactly the latter will occur depends very much on how the pulp production develops. Currently the mill has a permit to produce 355 000 tonnes of pulp annually, but has applied for permission to increase yearly production to 420,000 tonnes.
“We’re building for the future step by step,” comments Iggesund Mill Director Staffan Jonsson. “With increased pulp production we can also grow our paperboard production as we continue to eliminate bottlenecks and fine-tune our board machines.”
Iggesund Mill has received some of the highest levels of investment in the world for a paperboard mill. What lies behind this willingness to invest, explains Jonsson, is the company’s desire to attract and keep the most demanding customers with the most exacting quality requirements:
“Our location in Sweden means we can never compete with the cheapest raw materials or lowest paid workforce. Instead, our competitive tool is a product that provides the greatest possible efficiency in our customers’ processes, top-class environmental features and, of course, printing and converting properties which mean that the end products – packaging or printed materials – have a power of attraction that creates superior shelf appeal.”
Concurrently with the investment in its recovery boiler in Sweden, Iggesund is also investing 123 million Euro in a biomass boiler in Workington, England. Both investments will help reduce fossil carbon emissions from the mills.