Metsä Group Press release 20 May 2016
Metsä Group is building a sulphuric acid plant at the bioproduct mill in Äänekoski. The plant will be delivered by Valmet. The approximately EUR 20 million investment is the first large-scale sulphuric acid plant in the world to be integrated into the pulp manufacturing process.
The plant will process the mill's odorous gases into sulphuric acid, which the bioproduct mill needs in the manufacturing of, among other things, the important bioproduct tall oil. The plant will produce roughly 35 tonnes of sulphuric acid a day, which is equal to the amount required for the mill's tall oil production. The plant will begin production at the same time as the bioproduct mill, in the third quarter of 2017.
An advanced closed circulation in which water and chemicals are recycled and returned to the process for reuse was one of the key criteria in the design of the bioproduct mill's processes.
“A plant that makes a process chemical out of the sulphuric compounds in odorous gases is a significant step towards a closed chemical circulation, which will improve the bioproduct mill's environmental performance even further,” says Timo Merikallio, Project Director of the bioproduct mill.
Thanks to the sulphuric acid plant, the bioproduct mill will be able to reduce the sulphate load on natural waterways in comparison to the current mill at Äänekoski, even though production capacity will nearly triple. The internal recycling of chemicals will also reduce chemical transportation by about 360 truckloads a year.
The core of Metsä Group's bioproduct mill under construction in Äänekoski is the world's most efficient pulp mill, with an annual capacity of 1.3 million tonnes. A leading principle behind the bioproduct mill is to increase the product portfolio with various new bioproducts. The sulphuric acid plant will complement the bioproduct concept.
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Metsä Group is a forerunner in bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh forest fibre paperboards and tissue and cooking papers.
Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.0 billion in 2015, and it employs approximately 9,600 people. The Group operates in some 30 countries. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and owned by approximately 116,000 Finnish forest owners.