“Metsä Board’s Husum plant is investing heavily in the future. The now completed first phase of the mill’s transformation includes a new soda boiler and turbine, which will also improve the mill’s electricity self-sufficiency.

The completion of the first phase of the Husum pulp mill was celebrated on 3 May. The new soda boiler and turbine were commissioned in December and over the next few months the processes have been fine-tuned.

“The project has required fine-tuning in the final stages, but we are now clearly approaching the finish line,” confirms Ari Kiviranta, Metsä Board’s SVP of Techology, in April. There were some delays and minor start-up problems with the soda boiler, but since January the boiler has been running smoothly.

Looking to the far future

Husum needed a change because the old equipment was reaching the end of its life cycle. The core of the upgrade is a soda boiler supplied by Valmet and a turbine supplied by Siemens.

Ari Kiviranta calls the soda boiler the heart of the pulp mill, which has to be strong in every situation. With the modernisation, two old soda boilers will be replaced by one and three turbines by one.

“The technical age of the soda boiler is 35 to 40 years, so now we have a guarantee of production continuity well into the future.” One of the plant’s old soda boilers dates back to the 1970s and the other to the 1960s.

Patrik Hammar took over as project manager for the large-scale project in December. He is pleased with the way the long project is coming to an end. “Our strength is cooperation.”

Moving forward with self-made electricity

State-of-the-art equipment and processes will significantly boost the plant’s bio-based energy production. The new soda boiler and turbine are expected to increase the pulp mill’s electricity production by around 330 gigawatt-hours per year.

“The target is to increase Husum’s electricity self-sufficiency from 50% to 80%,” says Olov Winblad von Walter, Vice President of Husum mill. It is a significant step towards Metsä Board’s goal of 100 percent fossil-free factories.

In addition, production has been kept running with good success throughout the reform. “Production figures and efficiency have been at a good level,” confirms Winblad von Walter.

Husum’s transformation will continue in the coming years. The second phase of the modernisation will involve replacing the two fibre lines in the factory with one new line. “The aim is to plan and implement the second phase during the current decade,” Winblad von Walter concludes.”

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