Husum mill prepares to start up expanded BM1 this autumn

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Metsä Board’s folding boxboard capacity expansion at its Husum mill in Sweden is reaching its final phases before start-up.

Once the expansion is completed, the mill’s BM1 folding boxboard machine will be delivering 600,000 tonnes of premium lightweight folding boxboard every year to consumer packaging and food service end uses all around the world.

The extended BM1 is expected to start up during the second half of 2023 and to reach full capacity by the end of 2025, but the machine extension is only part of this impressive project.

More consistent and sustainable paperboard production

“The most important outcome of this project for our customers will be the increased availability of sustainable, lightweight products that help reduce packaging carbon footprint,” says Jonas Adler, Product Manager for Folding Boxboard at Husum. “BM1 produces MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright, MetsäBoard Natural FBB, MetsäBoard Pro FSB Cup and MetsäBoard Natural FSB Cup products. Nothing will change in the recipes of these popular and trusted products, it’s just that there will be more available and they’ll be produced in an even more consistent, predictable and sustainable manner,” he highlights.

Automation delivers a new level of efficiency

Apart from the board machine extension itself, there is plenty more going on at Husum as part of the expansion project. For example, a new winder and automatic reel handling will be installed. “Handling and transportation of jumbo reels will be automated all the way from the coating machine to the reel warehouse,” explains Adler. “This is not only more efficient, but also safer too.” Increasing the level of automation will also mean that production operators can focus on what they do best: producing premium-quality, sustainable board.

The port at Husum is now home to a temporary warehouse for storing finished products to ensure there is no disruption in supply when BM1 shuts down in autumn 2023 for the extension work. A new warehouse is also being built specifically for reels being shipped to customers in the USA, where demand for Metsä Board’s lightweight paperboards is growing as customers seek to replace plastic in their packaging products.  

“Efficiency is the word that best captures the goal of the project as a whole,” Adler says. “A lot of hard work is going into making the whole workflow of the mill even smoother and more efficient. For example, we’ll have intermediate roll storage to flatten peaks in production and automated customer reel handling for cassettes for the US market.”

Full steam ahead on the road to fossil-free production

The new recovery boiler and turbine of the Husum pulp mill started up at the end of 2022 providing the bio-based steam and electricity to power the capacity expansion. Together they are expected to increase electricity production by around 330 gigawatt hours per year. This means the mill’s electrical self-sufficiency will increase to over 80%. “The recovery boiler provides more stable steam production, which translates into more consistent board production and quality. Better quality and consistency mean less waste for our customers, so this is yet another way in which we are improving the sustainability of our products,” says Adler.

Europe’s biggest and most modern board machine

At  213 metres (699 feet) and with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes per year, Husum’s renewed BM1 will be Europe’s biggest and most modern board machine once it reaches full capacity in 2025. Behind the project are a skilled team of engineers and production operators who are all focused on delivering excellent product quality and ensuring that this vital part of Metsä Board’s journey to 100% fossil-free production is a success.

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Source: Metsä Group