As well as providing green energy to the mill and local community, the new biomass plant is marked out as Cumbria’s tallest building.
Iggesund Paperboard’s new biomass plant at Workington, England, was yesterday inaugurated in the presence of the board of directors of the Holmen Group, the forest industry group to which Iggesund Paperboard belongs.
When the CHP (combined heat and power) plant came online in March, the company’s paperboard mill at Workington switched its energy source from fossil natural gas to biomass, thereby reducing its annual fossil carbon emissions by the equivalent of the emissions of more than 58,000 cars, each driven 20,000 kilometres per year.
As well as now being self-sufficient in electricity and heat, the mill will also be able to supply both green electricity and heat to local residents.
With its 400 employees, Iggesund Paperboard’s Workington facility is the UK’s only producer of folding box board.
Incada, the paperboard made at the mill, is constructed of a central layer made of mechanical pulp that is produced on site and that gives a low weight combined with high stiffness, with outer layers made of purchased chemical pulp to create high whiteness and good printability.
“For more than a decade now Iggesund Paperboard has invested to raise the standard of what was originally a very ordinary paperboard mill to one that is state of the art,” said Ola Schultz-Eklund, the mill’s managing director. “Including the £108 million spent on the CHP plant, we have invested more than £200 million in this transformation.”
Iggesund Paperboard said in a press note that, step by step the investments and renovations had raised both the quality and quality consistency of Incada, and, as a result, the mill had found new end uses for its products and gradually improved its profitability.
“In our investment in this new biomass CHP plant, profitability and reduced climate impact go hand in hand,” Schultz-Eklund said. “We know that the cost of fossil-based energy will increase faster than that of biomass, so we regard this investment as a way to stabilise our energy costs.
“At the same time our emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from the production process have now fallen to almost zero, which should reasonably make us an even more interesting option for the large end users, who have more or less promised consumers that they will both declare and reduce the emissions created by the products they sell.”
Among other things, Incada is used for packaging, and, the press note said, paperboard packaging was a competitive method of protecting goods throughout the distribution chain, from producer to consumer.
“We base our production on a renewable raw material that can later be recycled either in material or energy form,” Schultz-Eklund said. “Our manufacturing process meets high environmental standards and our paperboard is an excellent fit in a society which is increasingly moving towards greater sustainability.”