The goal for the project was to become the world´s most efficient producer of softwood kraft pulp, based on state-of-the-art technology which enables low environmental impact, low production costs and extremely high pulp quality.
On August 27th, 2015 the board of SCA made the decision to invest SEK 7.8 billion in the Östrand pulp mill. The investment is SCA’s largest and remains one of the largest industrial investments ever made in Sweden.
The investment means that the mill more than doubles the annual production of kraft pulp from 430,000 tonnes to 900,000 tonnes. This enables SCA Pulp to take our most ambitious step to date and become one of the principal operators within the pulp industry, running Europe’s most profitable pulp mill.
The journey had already begun in 2014, when SCA decided to produce an in-depth pilot study for an expansion of Östrand. The result was presented in the summer of 2014 and was so compelling that an immediate decision was made to invest SEK 44 million in a pre-project. The project was called Helios, after the sun god in Greek mythology.
“We had a clear picture of where we wanted to position ourselves on the pulp market. We wanted to be an exceptional pulp mill that manufactured kraft pulp with world-class productivity. Since 2004, when the decision regarding a new recovery boiler at Östrand was taken, the plans to double production started to take shape. Since then there has been a strong sense of purpose and direction in everything that has been built, and in everything that has been done, both in big and small jobs. The vision has been to double production and sharpen our competitive edge. In fact, both the recovery boiler and lime kiln had already been designed to accommodate an increase in production”, says project director, Ingela Ekebro.
Over 40 staff worked full-time on the pre-project and the report was presented to SCA’s Group Management in June 2015.
“It was an historic decision for Östrand that will raise it´s position as one of the world's leading pulp mills," adds Ingela.