UPM will further improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the Kaukas pulp mill in Lappeenranta, Finland, by upgrading the mill's production process with a EUR30m investment.
The upgrade will be targeted in the mill's fibre lines, recovery boiler, evaporation, bailing and wood handling. Erection of the main equipment and start-up are scheduled for the spring of 2018.
"Last year at the Kaukas mill we successfully completed a EUR 50 million investment, where we renewed both the pulp drying machines. Now that we have met targets with drying, we can improve the production efficiency with these targeted upgrades," saysSami Saarela, Vice President, Finland Operations, UPM Pulp.
After this new project, annual production capacity of the Kaukas mill will increase by 30,000 tonnes from the current 740,000 to 770,000 tonnes of softwood and birch pulp in 2019. The majority of its production is softwood. The Kaukas softwood pulp, UPM Conifer Reinforcement, is known in the market as a strong reinforcement pulp suitable for end-uses requiring good strength properties.
"Demand for pulp continues to grow especially in paper grades that are used in consumer goods. Examples of such grades are tissue, label papers and board. In previous years we have replied to growing demand with similar targeted investments in all of our pulp mills and thus cost-efficiently increased our annual pulp production capacity altogether by more than 500,000 tonnes since 2013," says Saarela.
UPM's biggest ongoing pulp investment today is the EUR 98 million production expansion at the Kymi pulp mill in Kuusankoski, Finland. Started in 2016, this project comprises upgrades in wood handling, the birch fibre line, recovery island and effluent treatment. New machinery will be connected to the process during the next pulp mill shut-down planned for the autumn of 2017. After completion, annual pulp production of Kymi will reach 870,000 tonnes of softwood and birch pulp by the end of the year.
During the past few years UPM Pulp has established a strong position on the pulp market and developed a versatile and attractive pulp portfolio with an appealing service offering. UPM's competitive and modern mills are in excellent shape and provide a perfect platform for further growth in cooperation with customers.