Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 11am

Half-time discussion FUTURE ENERGY PLANT

The project for a sustainable future

Your interlocutor:
Günter Hochrathner, CEO Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf

• Infrastructure measures implemented
• Status of recovery boiler and steam turbine
• Further course of the project

On 26 September 2018, the ground-breaking ceremony for one of the largest construction projects in the history of the Nettingsdorf paper mill (Austria) took place with an investment sum of around 134 million euros. The renewal of the energy plants – specifically the recovery boiler and the steam turbine – has become necessary in order to meet production requirements in terms of quality and quantity in the future.

Paper has been produced at the Nettingsdorf site since 1851. The company is one of the leading producers of corrugating medium in Europe. The products manufactured – the Nettingsdorf KRAFTLINER and Nettingsdorf TESTLINER – are used in the packaging industry to produce corrugated cardboard. The construction project is part of the Future Energy Plant Project, which aims to secure and further optimise the energy efficiency of the Nettingsdorf site.

Motivation for the project
Long-term safeguarding of company locations and strengthening sustainability
The construction of highly efficient, state-of-the-art energy plants secures the Nettingsdorf site in the long term. This means that production capacity, and therefore jobs, will be maintained in the long term also. “Efficient energy plants play a major role in the production of paper. Our current power plants were built in the 1970s and have enabled us to become a leader in the industry. Now it is time to take the next step in order to remain competitive and successful,” says Günter Hochrathner, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf, explaining the motivation behind the project.
With the new recovery boiler supplied by Andritz, steam production from biomass will increase to about 150 tonnes of steam per hour. The steam turbine, with a maximum output of 28 megawatts, comes from Siemens. It is precisely adapted to the needs of the site. With the energy generated, around 40,000 households could be supplied with electricity and heat.
In addition, there is the possibility of a 2-3% production increase in the world’s fastest Kraftliner machine.

Massive reduction in emission values
The new boiler generates highly efficient energy from the biomass contained in the waste liquor from pulp production. This can massively reduce (fossil) CO2 emissions. In addition, odour and fine dust emissions are reduced. The aim is to reduce (fossil) CO2 emissions by 40,000 tonnes, which corresponds to about two thirds of current emissions at the site and even 1.5% of the entire Smurfit Kappa Group.

Project status
Status Quo – Infrastructure and “side” projects
Since the ground-breaking ceremony in September 2018, numerous project phases have been successfully completed. “At the moment we are well on schedule, there have been hardly any delays to date,” says Günter Hochrathner, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf, satisfied after one year of construction.
The large number of measures completed in the first major construction phase is impressive, including the construction of additional storage and a pre-assembly area of 20,000 m² (equivalent to three football pitches), the construction of 130 office and team containers and the creation of additional parking facilities for around 150 cars.

The various “side projects”, which account for around 10% of the project’s total costs, are also of great importance. Some have already been successfully implemented and put into operation, such as the installation of 3 additional drying cylinders in paper machine 6.
A new boiler water treatment plant is currently being commissioned, which will provide the boiler water required in the new boiler with the necessary purity. “We are pleased with every successfully completed side project. It brings us a significant step closer to our goal of further energy optimisation here at Nettingsdorf,” says Günter Hochrathner, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf.

Implementation of main project successfully underway
The new recovery boiler and the new steam turbine form the core of the project and are therefore the most important and, at the same time, the most cost-intensive elements in the current construction project at Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf, making up around 90% of project costs. Starting with the ground-breaking ceremony up to the first quarter of 2019, the foundations and reinforced concrete building components for the recovery boiler and the turbine house were erected. At the end of April 2019, the steel construction of the boiler house was given the go-ahead. In addition, various prefabricated parts, such as the steam drum (35 tonnes) and steam accumulator (105 tonnes), were brought into the building. Thanks to the smooth project execution and good construction progress, the façade work has already begun. Since June 2019, the delivery and installation of parts of the recovery boiler have been carried out.

Large projects – large dimensions
The size of the construction project is also reflected in the enormous amount of material and working time that has been invested in the project to date. Approx. 7,500 m³ of concrete, 1,000 tonnes of steel, 440 tonnes of boiler parts, 20 km of piping and 40 km of cable were installed in approx. 250,000 working hours. “We are also well on schedule with investment costs, which will amount to EUR 134 million. Currently, approx. 92% of the total investment sum has been allocated. The value of the measures already implemented is about 40%, by the end of the year it will be about 60% of total costs”, forecasts Günter Hochrathner, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf.

Further course of project until completion in mid-2020
By the end of 2019, the majority of the systems will have been assembled, including the steam turbine, which will supply the major share of the electricity required at the site in the future.
Before the recovery boiler can go into operation in mid-2020, a large number of piping and cabling installations still have to be carried out and extensive tests of the systems and the plant control system are necessary. “We hope that we will continue to be on schedule with all our work as before. Then nothing will stand in the way of the commissioning of the largest construction project in the history of the Nettingsdorf paper mill in mid-2020,” says Günter Hochrathner, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf, giving an overview of the ongoing project schedule.

Past and future challenges
A construction project as huge as the one currently underway at the Nettingsdorf site often poses new challenges for everyone involved, every day. Above all, providing necessary internal and external resources is not always easy for a production company with limited human resources. Since the construction site is located in the middle of the factory premises and takes up a lot of space, this involves extensive site traffic, always resulting in minor bottlenecks. “Our goal, however, is to keep the “normal” production flow as undisturbed as possible by the hustle and bustle around it. The core business and regulated processes may not be significantly impaired by the major construction project. So far, thanks to well thought-out and extensive planning and preparation, we have been very successful in this,” says Günter Hochrathner, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf.
The coming months will also involve many challenges. The delivery and installation of the 28 MW turbine and generator in October 2019 and the commissioning of the recovery boiler in spring 2020, which is to take place without any significant impact on current production, are worth mentioning in this regard. In addition, extensive training is required for the operating personnel on the new plants while the old plants are running at the same time. In general, the optimisation and coordination of the new plants with the existing plants, in consideration of the most efficient and low-emission production possible, poses the greatest challenge in the current large-scale construction project.



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