Finland-headed forest industry major Stora Enso Oyj has announced that it has completed the conversion of a paper line into the production of packaging board at its Oulu Mill. The pulp mill has been in production since mid-January and the newly converted machine is in a start-up phase. The packaging machine will now be ramped up during the first quarter and is expected to reach its designed production capacity by the end of this year.
Please reload the page
Do you want to read the whole article?
- Six editions per year
- Full access to all digital content
- The E-magazine Bioenergy international
- And more ...
The project began in May 2019 following a decision to invest EUR 350 million, and it was completed within the budget frame. The new line producing kraftliner will serve global customers in demanding packaging end-uses that require strength, purity, and strong visual appearance features.
The product, “AvantForte by Stora Enso”, has three fiber layers, making it the strongest kraftliner in Stora Enso’s portfolio. Packaging applications include fresh, fatty, or moist food, as well as high-end e-commerce packaging.
Oulu Mill will utilize state-of-the-art technology to produce a strong, material-efficient, high-quality kraftliner product. This allows us to tap into premium packaging segments with strong growth potentials, such as food contact and e-commerce, said Hannu Kasurinen, EVP, Packaging Materials division.
In the conversion project, one of the two former paper machines was converted for packaging board production. The pulp mill and drying machine were modified to produce 530 000 tonnes per annum of unbleached brown pulp, out of which about 150 000 tonnes are sold externally.
Approximately 400 people are employed on the mill site, including facilities personnel and logistics staff. The mill’s wood consumption, mainly purchased from private forest owners in Northern Finland, will increase by 0.5 million m3 to 2.4 million m3 annually.
Possible second conversion
The capacity of the new world-class kraftliner line is 450 000 tonnes per year. When fully ramped up within a year, Oulu Mill will generate a EUR 300 million annual sales increase for the Packaging Materials division.
The conversion of Oulu Mill also enables the strengthening of Packaging Materials division’s sheet service. Lumipaper sheeting plant in Antwerp, Belgium, which is being converted from paper to primarily board sheeting, will utilize cutters from Oulu and provide a fast sheet service in Continental Europe.
After the ramp-up of the first converted production line, Oulu Mill will have an additional growth option in the possible future conversion of the second paper machine for packaging materials.
This would further improve Oulu Mill’s competitiveness, with integrated pulp availability and additional fixed and variable cost savings, including higher utilization of the in-house deep-sea harbour.