The builders of the bioproduct mill: “No-one has ever done anything like this before”

The view from the Äänekoski bridge over the mill integrate is familiar to Jukka Kiuru (M.Sc., Energy Technology). This is because he went to school at Äänekoski three decades ago when his father, Reijo Kiuru, was building Metsä Fibre's current pulp mill. Thanks to Metsä Group's bioproduct mill project, a new building from the bridge towards the mill is taking shape and Jukka Kiuru is able to tell us exactly why.

“We are building a new raw water pumping station by the rapids, which will provide the water required in the production processes of the bioproduct mill. At maximum power, we can pump up to ten cubic metres of water a second.”

While the majority of the water will be used for cooling, part of it will be used for the requirements of pulp production.

“Six large pumps will pump the water to the mill via a pipe that is 1.4 kilometres long and more than two metres in diameter,” says Kiuru.

Photos: Metsä Group

New standards for the forest industry

Kiuru, who lives in Lappeenranta, works as the Project Manager for the recovery line in the bioproduct mill project. After a short period of reflection, Kiuru, who served as the managing director of Kaukaan Voima for the past five years, decided to rise up to the challenge presented to him by Project Director Timo Merikallio.

“It is pretty grand to be involved in the implementation of the biggest-ever forest industry investment in Finland. What we are doing – no-one has ever done anything like this before. At the same time, we are creating entirely new standards for the industry,” says Kiuru, who also worked for Metsä Fibre in the Uruguay project.

The most important new operating models and technologies of the bioproduct mill involve particularly the recovery line.

“We aim to maximise the use of by-products. The mill's self-sufficiency in terms of energy will be at a completely new level, and the operations will be increasingly efficient also from the environmental aspects. The mill will not use any fossil fuels,” says Kiuru.

The mill will not use any fossil fuels.

An investment in bioenergy

In the bioproduct mill project, Kiuru and his team are responsible for the recovery of chemicals, water processing and energy production.

“The mill has been designed in such a way that as much carbon-free bioenergy as possible can be produced from the recovery boiler's steam. More than a half of the electricity will be sold outside the mill.”

More than a half of the electricity will be sold outside the mill.

The bioproduct mil's new technology allows for an increasingly closed chemical cycle. The sidestreams generated in the reprocessing of lye can be used efficiently.

“In addition to electricity and steam, the mill will also produce tall oil, for example, and turpentine. The mill will also be able to produce a part of the sulphuric acid it needs.”

What is new is the bark gasification plant, which operates entirely without fossil fuels.

“The gas produced from the bark replaces the heavy fuel oil used in the lime kiln,” explains Kiuru.

Sports to counterbalance work

According to Kiuru, the construction work of the recovery line has progressed according to plan, thanks to a competent organisation. He has not faced any big surprises.

“Our biggest challenge is the confined plot of the mill, which necessitates careful scheduling and precise site arrangements.”

To counterbalance the hectic work, the 47-year-old Kiuru enjoys sports and exercise. His favourites include cross-country and downhill skiing as well as orienteering. At the Jukola Relay, however, Kiuru was not seen on the course, even though the race was held practically on his doorstep.

“This time around, my wife and I were there as volunteers, helping out with the arrangements.”

Jukka Kiuru (47)
Place of residence: Lappeenranta.
Job: Project Manager for the recovery line.
Career: Before the bioproduct mill project, worked as the managing director of Kaukaan Voima.
Education: M.Sc. (Energy Technology).
Family: Wife and a 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
Hobbies: Jogging, cross-country and downhill skiing, orienteering, ball games, reading.

 

The builders of the bioproduct mill is a series of articles that introduces readers to the people bringing the next-generation bioproduct mill to life and describing their work in the biggest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry. The builders of the bioproduct mill will be published on our website at www.bioproductmill.com during 2016.

Project Director Timo Merikallio was intervieweed in the first article and after that Construction Manager Pekka Salomaa, Project Coordinator Juha Pesonen, Project Services Director Ossi Puromäki, Technical Director Pertti Lehmonen and Fibre Line Project Manager Kari Koskinen have described their work.

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