UPM has invested a total of EUR 22 million in the environmental performance of its Finnish pulp mills during the latest maintenance shutdowns. The recently completed shutdown at UPM Pietarsaari was the second of the spring, right after the one at UPM Kaukas in Lappeenranta. To ensure good performance, UPM shuts down the pulp mills for maintenance approximately every 18 months. At the same time development investments are made in, among other things, improved operational reliability and environmental performance.
Investments in the latest technology support UPM Pulp’s goal to improve production efficiency while reducing emissions. UPM Pulp is committed to reducing chemical oxygen demand (COD) by 60% from 2008 levels by 2030. These ambitious goals are being pursued step by step.
"The modernisation of the Kaukas pulp mill's fibre line washing will reduce the COD load to the wastewater treatment plant and to Lake Saimaa by 5%. In addition, the upgrade will reduce the need of additional nutrients used in the treatment plant," says Juha Kääriäinen, Vice President, UPM, Finland Pulp Operations.
UPM's goal is that, by 2030, only recycled nutrients will be used in its mill water treatment plants.
An investment project is currently underway at the Kaukas pulp mill to improve operation of the fibre line. Once completed, chemicals will be better recycled and the COD load to Lake Saimaa will be further reduced.
At the Pietarsaari pulp mill, parts of the bleaching processes for both production lines were renewed. This upgrade will reduce consumption of chemicals and the load on the wastewater treatment plant, which will directly reduce the plant's wastewater effluents.
The upgrade also aims to contribute to air quality by reducing air emissions.
"The Kaukas pulp mill's exhaust gas treatment system was upgraded to allow faster failure detection. The upgrade will reduce the duration of incidents, improve odorous gas collection and reduce fugitive emissions," says Juha Kääriäinen.
Air emissions from the Pietarsaari pulp mill will be further reduced thanks to the renewal of the air system in the recovery boiler. The system has been designed using the latest technological research and 3D modelling.
In November 2021 the electric filter capacity of the UPM Kymi lime kiln was increased and the automation and control system for the electric filters was modernised. These investments have significantly reduced particulate emissions from the lime kiln. At the same time an on-site oxygen plant was commissioned – this reduces the indirect environmental impacts of the plant's operations, such as reducing journeys by heavy goods vehicles to the plant.
UPM is committed to developing its operations towards a low carbon energy economy, in which UPM's pulp mills play a key role. Highly energy efficient pulp mills produce renewable electricity, mostly from renewable biomass, in excess of their own needs.
Upgrades to the steam turbine at the Kaukas pulp mill improved energy efficiency, increasing the mill's own electricity production by 10%.
In addition, the energy recovery of both the Kaukas and Pietarsaari pulp mills has been upgraded – this will increase the efficiency of the mills' electricity production and improve process safety.
For further information:
Juha Kääriäinen, Vice President, UPM, Finland Pulp Operations, tel. +35840 7750 355