The Husum integrated board and pulp mill, is co-owned by Metsa Board, a paper company based in Finland, and Norra Skog, a Swedish forest owners’ association, producing folding boxboards, bleached chemical pulp, and uncoated white kraftliner in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden.
A renewal programme is current underway to increase the facility’s production capacity and to make it more sustainable and energy-efficient, owing to the increasing demand for sustainably produced packaging materials.
Husum pulp mill renewal programme
The Husum pulp mill will be renewed in two phases. The programme will increase the annual production capacity of BL1 at the mill by approximately 200,000t, from 400,000t to 600,000t.
The additional capacity will be operational by the end of 2025. The final investment decision for the first phase of the programme was made in December 2020.
A new modern soda recovery boiler and a turbine were installed in the facility, along with the ICT installations of the turbine, boiler, control room and various departments as part of the first phase. They replaced the mills’ existing recovery boilers, steam systems and turbines, whose life cycle ended in 2019. The first phase became operational in December 2022.
The new boiler and turbine replaced the use of heavy fuel oil with bio-based fuel, increasing Metsa Board’s bioenergy output and taking it closer to its aim of achieving 100% fossil-fuel-free production by the end of 2030. The renewal will also reduce the company’s water usage significantly by 2030.
A new centralised control building comprising social facilities and office space for the pulp mill was also developed in the mill.
In the second phase, two existing lines will be replaced with a new fibre line. A new modern digital system integrated with logistics systems controlling the flow of production and communication with other systems, such as cranes, will support the new production process. The mill will be equipped with the new system by late 2023.
The renewal programme will be carried out throughout the 2020s.
Details of earlier expansions
In April 2016, the mill was expanded with the addition of a new folding boxboard (FBB) production line with an investment of €170m ($184m). The expansion transformed the company into a complete paperboard firm. The new production line produces approximately 400,000t of high-quality folding boxboard a year, which took the company’s gross annual folding boxboard capacity to approximately two million tonnes (mtpa) by 2018.
The FBBs produced at the plant are primarily supplied to markets outside Europe, especially North America.
The standard paper production at the Husum mill ceased completely at the end of 2017, which resulted in the termination of the production of approximately 600,000t of paper a year.
Metsa Board invested €39m ($43m) in a new 100,000t extrusion coating line and associated infrastructure at the Husum mill, which became operational in the first half of 2017.
Details of the new FBB production line at the Husum mill
Metsa Board’s new production line features a BM1 FBB, which was installed between mid-October 2015 and January 2016.
The 6.66m-wide machine has the latest modular design of headboxes, forming section and press section, and a rebuild of the off-machine coater, winder and roll wrapping line.
Its wet end area is based on OptiConcept M frame construction, which avoids the need for cantilever beams for fabric changes.
The fabrics are changed by means of fabric insertion units. The OptiConcept M design enhances the machine’s safety and usability.
The machine utilises the chemical pulp produced at the site, as well as pulp produced at the Kaskinen mill in Finland (starting from 2016), which is used to manufacture folding boxboard grades in a basis weight range between 185gal/m² and 350gal/m² at a design speed of 1,000mm/min.
Husum mill has two board machines with a production capacity of 400,000t of folding boxboard and 250,000t of white kraftliner a year. The mill can produce 730,000t of chemical pulp a year.
Boxboards are commonly used for packaging chocolate, confectionery, groceries, medical and healthcare items, beauty care products, and graphic applications. They are also used within the global food service industry to store and transport items, such as cups, plates, and trays.
Uncoated white kraftliner are surface liners used in consumer, retail, and shelf-ready corrugated packaging for branded items, such as home appliances, electronics, drinks, meals, fruits, and vegetables. They are also utilised as fluting in corrugated board and for shopping bags.
Valmet, a Finnish developer and supplier of technologies and automation systems to the pulp, paper and energy industries, supplied the new folding boxboard production line for the Husum mill as part of a €68m ($74m) contract awarded in December 2014.
Insta, a technology and service solutions provider based in Finland, delivered the instrument and ICT installations, including the instrumentation and cabinets, for the first phase of the renewal programme.
AFRY, an engineering and design company based in Sweden, was contracted by Metsa Board to deliver a modern Industry 4.0 digital solution based on the AFRY platform, integrated with internal product logistics systems for the renewal programme in May 2022.
The company also contributed to the feasibility study and preliminary project for Metsa Board’s investment plan for operations in the Husum mill.
ABB’s synchronous reluctance motors (SynRM) motors and drives have been used in the facility to make operations more energy efficient to meet sustainability goals.
Attacus Stomsystem, a concrete contractor based in Sweden, manufactured the precast concrete frame for the construction of buildings on the site for the expansion project. The company subcontracted Peikko Group, a manufacturing company based in Finland, for the connection products for the project.