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SCA secures EUR 300 million EIB loan to introduce papermaking 4.0 at Obbola

Swedish forest industry major Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) has secured a EUR 300 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to modernize and upgrade its kraftliner pulp mill at Obbola, in northern Sweden. The new equipment to be used by the plant — following a process called papermaking 4.0 — will enable machinery to be digitally integrated.

Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) has secured a EUR 300 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to modernize and upgrade its kraftliner pulp mill at Obbola, in northern Sweden. The new equipment to be used by the plant — following a process called papermaking 4.0 — will enable machinery to be digitally integrated (photo courtesy EIB).

The upgrade and modernization of the mill will improve the production of recyclable and compostable packaging solutions from recycled fibre and from renewable and sustainable wood sources, making sure it is in line with EU and EIB objectives in terms of climate change mitigation.

The demand for sustainable packaging is increasing and SCA decided in 2019 to expand the manufacturing capacity at the Obbola mill from 450 000 tonnes to 725 000 tonnes. Through this investment, the need for fossil fuels in critical parts of the production process will be eliminated resulting in a significantly lower carbon footprint. As a result of this investment in the world’s most advanced kraftliner facility, we will considerably improve the mill’s competitiveness, sustainability footprint and product quality, said Ulf Larsson, President and CEO of SCA.

Digital integration will make the production process much more efficient while also creating high-quality products, in line with the European Union’s vision for digital transformation. The project is also expected to have a positive impact on the local economy.

Apart from making this production facility more energy-efficient, the project also has a good circular economy angle — it will double the utilisation of recycled fibre for its manufacturing process. Especially in today’s economy, packaging for products and deliveries plays an increasingly important role, meaning that the ability to use recycled fibre has quite an impact on the use of natural resources, EIB VP Thomas Östros said.

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