UPM enhances pulp business with Kaukas mill investment

P&PC Staff
July 05, 2017
By P&PC Staff
UPM enhances pulp business with Kaukas mill investment
PHOTOS: UPM Kauka
Jul. 5, 2017 - UPM hopes to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the Kaukas pulp mill in Lappeenranta, Finland, by upgrading its production process with an investment of 30 million euros (roughly C$44.4 million).

The upgrade will target the mill’s fibre lines, recovery boiler, evaporation, bailing and wood handling. Erection of the main equipment and start-up are scheduled for the spring of 2018.

“Last year at the Kaukas mill we successfully completed a EUR 50 million investment, where we renewed both the pulp drying machines. Now that we have met targets with drying, we can improve the production efficiency with these targeted upgrades,” said Sami Saarela, VP Finland Operations, UPM Pulp.

After this new project, annual production capacity of the Kaukas mill will increase by 30,000 tonnes from the current 740,000 to 770,000 tonnes of softwood and birch pulp in 2019, says the pulpmaker. The majority of its production is softwood.

“Demand for pulp continues to grow especially in paper grades that are used in consumer goods. Examples of such grades are tissue, label papers and board. In previous years we have replied to growing demand with similar targeted investments in all of our pulp mills and thus cost-efficiently increased our annual pulp production capacity altogether by more than 500,000 tonnes since 2013,” continued Saarela.

UPM said its largest ongoing pulp investment to date is the 98 million euro (roughly C$145 million) production expansion at the Kymi pulp mill in Kuusankoski, Finland. Started in 2016, the project comprises of upgrades in wood handling, the birch fibre line, recovery island and effluent treatment. New machinery will be connected to the process during the next pulp mill shutdown planned for fall 2017. After completion, annual pulp production of Kymi will reach 870,000 tonnes of softwood and birch pulp by the end of the year.

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