Stora Enso Imatra Mills’ wood handling upgrade reaches completion

Stora Enso Imatra Mills’ wood handling upgrade reaches completion – water use will decrease by 85 per cent

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Stora Enso invested EUR 80 million to centralise and modernise wood handling at Imatra Mills to enhance its production capabilities for premium packaging board. The investment will additionally reduce the use of process water and mitigate environmental impacts. The project, which started up in the first quarter of 2021, is now complete.
The modernisation of Imatra Mills’ wood handling was completed on schedule. From now on, wood will be debarked and handled centrally on Kaukopää Mill’s new debarking line. The project included the installation of a third debarking line, improvements to chip handling systems, and modifications to the infrastructure of the existing wood yard. The centralised and modernised wood handling capacity will improve the stability and efficiency of the process. 

The investment will significantly reduce the water use in the wood handling process. Water use will decrease by 85 per cent compared to the old debarking line, which translates to 500 million litres less water consumed per year. The noise level at the Tainionkoski Mill will also decrease, as wood handling there comes to an end.

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 behaviour 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.

“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,” states Mill Director Mikko Nieminen

Close to 700 000 working hours were spent on the project. More than 500 companies, nearly 40 per cent of which from South Karelia, were involved in the project. During the construction phase of the investment, 700 steel pipe piles and 100 boring piles totalling roughly 18 kilometres were installed into the ground. Two new silos were built in the Kaukopää Mill area for chip storage. The largest silo has a diameter of 38 metres and is 25 metres high.