Skutskär Mill started production already in 1895 with an annual capacity of only 6,000 tonnes of pulp. Today the mill’s annual capacity has reached 545,000 tonnes. As production has grown, so have Stora Enso’s goals for improving the mill’s environmental footprint. During the years, many steps have been taken towards Skutskär Mill becoming a carbon neutral mill. Today this goal is very close to becoming reality.
Journey to carbon neutrality
The road towards self-efficiency in electricity started in 2008, when an old bark boiler was taken into use to burn tree bark for energy. The work continued with the construction of five windmills on the mill site further contributing to a fossil-free power supply to the mill operations.
The latest big step towards reducing dependence on fossil fuels was taken in 2016, when the mill started to burn wood-based pitch oil for energy instead of crude oil. Pitch oil is a by-product from tall oil and used as bioenergy in the mill. Stora Enso supports the cascading use of wood, which means that the tree, all its parts, forestry residuals, and industrial side streams are used in the best and most suitable way – to replace fossil-based materials.
Today, all the energy, heat and power produced at Skutskär Mill is based on biofuels. Recent measurements made in December 2021 showed that the mill was also 93% self-sufficient in electricity. At times, the mill is able to sell excess energy to the national grid as production exceeds the mill’s own needs.
The most recent investment to enhance operational performance for fluff pulp production was announced in January 2022. This EUR 40 million investment takes the next important step towards a climate positive contribution by reducing power consumption and water utilization as well as enabling lowering the use of bleaching chemicals. The mill is already very close to being carbon neutral as it has achieved 99% fossil-free production.
Skutskär Mill is also participating in the EU-funded ACCSESS project where Carbon Dioxide is captured and stored using Bio-CCS technology. The first part of the newly developed process, carbon capture, will be tested on pilot scale at Skutskär Mill. The project will last for four years and pilot trials at Skutskär Mill are planned to start in early 2023.
Stora Enso has an ambitious goal to offer 100% regenerative products and solutions by 2050. As the largest producer of fluff pulp in Europe, Skutskär Mill is paving the road through continuous decarbonization of its operations.