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Sappi’s Kirkniemi paper mill switches to bioenergy

Paper Solutions Green Solutions

Sappi Europe has announced that Kirkniemi mill, its largest coated publication paper mill, has successfully made the switch from using fossil fuels to renewable bioenergy to fuel the production of the Galerie paper range.

After a €16.5 million investment into facilities and machinery for the reception, storage and handling of biofuels, the Kirkniemi mill is now able to reduce the carbon footprint of the Galerie paper range by 40%.

The mill supplies nearly five billion high quality magazines and catalogues with its Galerie paper each year.

Although paper is an inherently renewable and recyclable product, paper production is very heat intensive, mainly due to the process of evaporation that is essential to turn pulp to paper. The pulp and paper sector was responsible for 2% of all emissions from industry in 2022. According to CEPI, the European pulp and paper industry body, in 2022 the pulp and paper sector ran on 61% renewable energy. Through continued investment in fuel switching and technology this share will continue to grow. Kirkniemi's switch will contribute to this trajectory.

Biomass residues such as bark, sawdust and wood chips now fuel the Kirkniemi mill Galerie paper operations. The upgrade now works alongside the multi-fuel boiler built in 2015, enabling the mill to save nearly 230,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.


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