Finland-based paper company Metsa Board expanded its Husum board and pulp mill in Sweden by adding a new folding boxboard (FBB) production line.

The expansion was originally announced in December 2014 and the new line was officially inaugurated in April 2016.

Metsa Board’s €170m ($192.49m) expansion marked the final step in transforming the company into a complete paperboard firm.

The standard paper production at the Husum mill was ceased completely at the end of 2017, which resulted in the termination of approximately 600,000t of paper production annually.

Metsa Board also invested an additional €38m ($43m) for a new 100,000t extrusion coating line and related infrastructure at the Husum mill.

The new line became operational in the first half of 2017.

Production

Metsa Board’s new production line produces approximately 400,000t of high-quality folding boxboard a year, taking the company’s gross annual folding boxboard capacity to approximately two million tonnes (Mt) by 2018.

The folding boxboards produced at the plant are primarily supplied to markets outside Europe, especially North America.

They are also used within the global food service industry to store and transport items such as cups, plates and trays.

Details of the new folding boxboard production line at Humsum mill

Metsa Board’s new production line features a BM1 folding boxboard machine, 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 also 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 safety and usability of the machine.

The machine utilises the chemical pulp produced at the site, as well as pulp produced at Kaskinen mill in Finland (starting from 2016), which is used to manufacture folding boxboard grades in a basis weight range between 185g/m² and 350g/m² at a design speed of 1,000m/min.

Contractors involved

Valmet Corporation, 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 €60m ($74m) contract awarded in December 2014.

Project background

Metsa Board’s folding boxboard and fresh forest fibre liner business has witnessed significant growth in the recent years, while the paper business has declined.

The demand for sustained, safe and cost-effective folding boxboards has increased, especially in regions such as North America.

“The €170m ($192.49m) expansion was the final step in transforming Metsa Board into a complete paperboard company.”

The company planned to increase its boxboard production and simultaneously reduce its exposure in paper business in order to achieve continuous profitable growth.

Following an extensive planning phase, Metsa came up with a cost-effective alternative method of increasing the production capacity, which was to add a new folding boxboard production line to its existing mill in Husum.

The Husum mill is the company’s largest production site and was considered for the expansion as it is an integrated facility with a large two-line pulp mill, state-of-the-art paperboard coating equipment, an efficient power plant and its own harbour.

The new production line also strengthens the company’s market leadership in fresh forest fibre paperboards.

Details of Metsa’s existing board and pulp mill in Husum

Established in 1919, the Husum mill is an integrated board and pulp mill that produces fresh fibre white linerboard, bleached market pulp, and folding boxboard following the introduction of new production line.

With the new production line being operational, the plant now features two board machines, one coater, two wood-handling lines for pine / spruce and birch, and a pulp mill with two fibre lines for bleached softwood pulp and bleached hardwood pulp, as well as two drying machines.