FINLAND – Finnish pulp and paper maker Stora Enso has invested US$82 million (€80 million) to centralize and modernize the wood handling process at its Imatra Mill in Finland.

The funds have been used to boost the facility’s capacity for premium packaging board production and decrease water consumption throughout the debarking process.

The Imatra Mill consists of two industrial units – Kaukopää and Tainionkoski – which manufacture pulp and consumer packaging boards.

The new line at Kaukopää Mill will now be used to centrally debark and handle all wood. A third debarking line was installed as part of the project, chip handling technologies were improved and the architecture of the existing wood yard was changed.

According to the company, water use will be cut by 85% when compared to the former debarking line, saving 500 million liters of water annually.

As wood handling at the Tainionkoski Mill is brought to an end, noise pollution in the local area will also drop.

The wood handling upgrade was carried out over two winters in challenging outdoor conditions.

Special attention was paid to safe working practices, and this investment worksite marked the first time that a Stora Enso mill used the House building (TR) Audit, a method widely used in the construction industry to assess safety, tidy working environment and behavior on worksites.

The TR Audit provides an overview of the entire worksite, focusing on small areas at a time, and has been found to be a good predictor of accidents.

Mikko Nieminen, Mill Director said: “Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, construction progressed as usual, and the investment was completed on time and within budget.

“Most importantly, the work was completed safely. Co-operation between the various players was very smooth. The investment will serve Imatra Mills for decades to come.”

The company says that close to 700 000 working hours were spent on the project, with more than 500 companies involved in the project.

During the construction phase of the investment, 700 steel pipe piles and 100 boring piles totaling roughly 18 kilometers were installed into the ground.

In addition, two new silos were built in the Kaukopää Mill area for chip storage with the largest silo having a diameter of 38 meters and 25 meters high.

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