Allnorth to engineer new straw pulp mill in Germany
June 13, 2019 – Allnorth, a Vancouver-based engineering and construction services company that serves process industries including pulp and paper, is providing the engineering for a new non-wood pulp mill in Germany.
Essity, a hygiene company and tissue manufacturer, is building a mill that will produce pulp from wheat straw and other plant-based agricultural byproducts. This mill will be the first of its kind in Europe and the second in the world, after Washington-based Columbia Pulp, which Allnorth also engineered. Columbia Pulp is expected to start up in summer 2019.
Allnorth will support the CA$56.4-million project by engineering the new plant in Essity's existing mill in Manheim, Germany.
The non-wood pulp mill is expected to be completed and producing products in the second half of 2020.
"We are proud to be working on an international level to support our clients' innovation in the pulp and paper industry," says Darby Kreitz, CEO, Allnorth.
Allnorth is an engineering and technical services firm that started in Prince George, B.C., and now has offices in 16 locations across Canada and the U.S., and over 450 team members.
Essity has signed a license agreement securing exclusive European rights to a new proprietary technology to produce pulp from wheat straw, the waste from agricultural activity. The company says this process will enable Essity to contribute to its sustainability goals by reducing water, energy and chemical use.
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Both the Essity and Columbia Pulp mills use Sustainable Fiber’s Phoenix Process, which uses agricultural residue that is left behind from the harvesting of wheat and other plant material. This previously unused material becomes high-quality pulp used in the production of tissue, toweling, packaging products, and compostable food-service ware.
It also produces a nutrient-rich co-product, which is returned to the fields to enhance next year's crop, or even feed livestock. The mills are chlorine free, use no sulfur-based chemicals, and produce no liquid effluent. The mills also use less water, steam and electricity. Pulp made from this technology will have the same quality as conventional wood-based pulp.
"We see the use of wheat straw to create pulp as revolutionary – it's a way to expand the pulp and paper industry to new agricultural-producing communities while also decreasing GHGs by reusing the straw, a waste product that is often burned," says Darby. "Wheat straw mills are a natural complement to the existing sustainable wood pulp and paper industry, and we look forward to the day that Allnorth plays a part in building wheat straw mills in Canada."
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