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Smurfit Kappa Nervión Boosts Energy Production 40% with New Biomass Boiler

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A new biomass-fueled steam-heating plant with a capacity of 21.4 MW was recently started up by Smurfit Kappa at its Nervión paper mill in Spain, increasing production of energy from biomass by 40%. The power plant is part of a EUR 20 million investment program to both lower fossil carbon dioxide emissions and increase the mill's profitability.

Rafael Sarrionandia, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Nervión, noted that "the goal of this energy project is to increase the heat and power production in the factory, by optimizing the efficiency of existing equipment and the capacity of the recycling plant for wood waste." The industrial and environmental modernization project included the purchase of a versatile shredder able to process all of the mill's waste wood, and a selection and storage system through which biomass consumption could be increased by 40,000 metric tpy to more than 100,000 metric tpy. Construction of the biomass cogeneration plant began in 2009 with a technical study and the purchase of equipment. The construction and installation phase got underway in January 2011 with the erection of a building to house the new 21.4 MW steam condensing turbine as well as four new cooling towers with a 2,500 cubic meter/hr Wasserumwälzleistung continuous process unit.

The project allowed Smurfit Kappa Nervión to expand its energy production by more than 40%. The mill now produces in excess of 120,000 MWh annually, meeting some 65% of its total energy needs.

The biogenic wastes used as fuels are derived mainly from black liquor, bark from sawmills, and bark from the mill's onsite log debarking operations. Other forest waste from clearing, pruning, and thinning are also to be used, supporting the mill's sustainable forest management and good forest maintenance efforts.


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