February 25, 2020
3 min read

When a paper mill invests into climate protection

As part of a long-term commitment to sustainability, paper mill company Sappi is planning to cut 25 percent of their greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. “Our aim is to produce largely CO₂-neutral steam and power," says their Plant Director.

Our aim is to produce largely CO₂-neutral steam and power.

Max Oberhumer

Plant Director at Sappi Gratkorn, Austria

The steam boiler, which supplies two paper machines with steam and power, is more than 30 years old. This investment in cutting-edge technology involves migration from a coal-fired boiler to a multi-feed boiler in two phases. The new steam boiler can be operated with multiple fuels, enabling current CO2 emissions to be reduced by 30 percent. "In future, steam boiler 11 will be fueled mainly by biomass and, temporarily, natural gas. Our aim is to produce largely CO₂-neutral steam and power," emphasizes Plant Director Max Oberhumer. 

In addition to the steam boiler retrofit supplied by Sumitomo SHI FW (SFW), Sappi has also placed an order for the delivery of a new DCS (distributed control system) with Siemens Energy.  Process control technology and fiber expertise from Siemens Energy make production more environmentally friendly, resource-efficient and more profitable.

The plant retrofit is scheduled to be performed in two steps and be completed by the end of 2021.

Long-term strategy for Sappi's largest European plant

The investment is part of a long-term strategy to decarbonize Sappi Europe's production processes. By 2025, the company wants to emit 25 percent less greenhouse gases compared to 2019. Gratkorn is Sappi Europe's largest manufacturing sites and produces around 990,000 tons of high-quality, woodfree paper annually for the global printing and stationery market. Over the years, Sappi has made several investments to ensure the technology at the Gratkorn location stays up-to-date. The coated fine paper production line at the facility is one of the largest and most modern worldwide. In addition, 250,000 tons of totally chlorine-free (TCF) pulp as an intermediate for other products can be produced here.

Decade-longtrusting business relationship with Siemens

Siemens/Siemens Energy has already implemented multiple orders for Sappi over the last few decades. In addition to supplying gas turbines, industrial steam turbines and generators, a similar project was completed in 2015, when Siemens delivered the process control technology for modernizing the caustic boiler. What clinched the deal for the latest order was the close proximity to the customer, which means the engineering work is performed in Austria. Suitable service capacities are also available locally. "We were able to convince the customer with our solution concept, as well as meet their requirements. Our experienced solution specialists will successfully implement the project together with the team from Sappi", says Georg Niederhauser, Department Head responsible for the paper industry in Austria. "We were able to win the order because of this closeness to the customer and our sector expertise."

The Siemens Energy scope of supply includes anew process control system for steam boiler 11 (Siemens SIMATIC PCS7 with ET200SP HA I/O peripherals) as well as the sector-specific SIPAPER DCS APL library. This standard library for implementing automation and control solutions in the Fiber Industry was introduced along with other predecessor libraries more than 30 years ago.

February 25, 2020

Combined picture credits: Sappi