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Sappi investing EUR 10 million to phase out final coal at Kirkniemi Mill

Sappi Europe, part of South Africa-headed pulp and paper major Sappi Ltd has announced that it has recently approved an investment in Kirkniemi Mill in Lohja, Finland which enables a switch in its energy sourcing to renewable bioenergy. With this investment, the mill’s direct fossil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be reduced by approximately 90 percent, which is equivalent to 230 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.

Sappi Ltd has approved a EUR 10 million investment in Kirkniemi Mill in Lohja, Finland which enables a switch to renewable bioenergy. The pulp and paper mill produces exceptional coated paper for heatset web offset printing serving the high volume print market. The three paper machines produce 750 000 tonnes per annum of high-quality coated mechanical paper as well as 300 000 tonnes per annum of bleached mechanical pulp for self-consumption (photo courtesy Sappi).

The project, set for completion in early 2023, will contribute significantly to Sappi Europe’s decarbonization roadmap by exiting coal at one of its last facilities partially using this fuel type. Biomass will then be used in Kirkniemi’s multi-fuel boiler, which was built in 2015.

The move advances Sappi towards its 2025 targets which include reducing specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 25 percent and increasing renewable energy share to 50 percent in Europe compared to 2019.

The investment estimated at around EUR 10 million, will establish the equipment needed to receive, store and handle woody biomass like the bark, sawdust, and woodchips used for biofuel production. Such biomass types are by-products from the forest-based industry and utilizing them for energy production derives further value from the forest resource.

In addition to increasing the share of renewable energy, Sappi’s mills are also focused on reducing energy consumption. Sappi Kirkniemi Mill is a party to Finland’s National Energy Efficiency Agreement and consistently reaches its energy-saving targets. Kirkniemi’s ISO 50001 certification provides further evidence of the mill’s systematic improvement in energy efficiency.

By reducing our use of fossil fuels by shifting to renewable energy, Kirkniemi Mill is increasingly part of the solution to climate change. As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) negotiations underpinned, we collectively need to scale up climate action, and such investments are critical to change our emissions trajectory and dependency on fossil fuels”, explains Mill Director Martti Savelainen, Mill Director at Sappi Kirkniemi Mill.

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