In March Iggesund Paperboard’s new biofuel boiler in Workington, England came online. By switching its energy source from fossil natural gas to biomass, the company has permanently eliminated annual fossil carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to those from more than 65,000 cars, each driven 20,000 kilometres a year. In addition to now being self-sufficient in electricity and heat, Iggesund Paperboard also expects to supply both green electricity and heat to the nearby town of Workington.
Iggesund Paperboard in Workington is the UK’s only producer of folding box board and has 400 employees. Incada, the paperboard made at the mill, is constructed of a middle layer made of mechanical pulp produced on site, which gives a low weight combined with high stiffness. The outer layers are made of a purchased chemical pulp to create high whiteness and good printability.
“Thanks to investments spanning more than a decade, Iggesund Paperboard has raised the standard of what was a very middle-of-the-road paperboard mill to one that is state of the art,” comments Ulf Löfgren, the mill’s managing director. “Including the 108 million pounds spent on the biofuel boiler, we have invested more than 200 million pounds in this transformation.”
Step by step the investments and renovations have raised both the quality and quality consistency of Incada. As a result, the mill has found new end uses for its product and gradually improved its profitability.
“In our investment in the new biofuel boiler, profitability and reduced climate impact go hand in hand,” Löfgren continues. “We know that the cost of fossil-based energy will rise faster than that of biofuel, so we regard this investment as a way to stabilise our energy costs.
“At the same time, our emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from the production process will fall to almost zero, which should reasonably make us an even more interesting choice for the large end users, who have more or less promised consumers that they will both declare and reduce the emissions created by the products they sell.”
Incada is used for packaging, book and brochure covers, and other graphical applications. Paperboard packaging is a competitive method of protecting goods throughout the distribution chain from producer to consumer.
“We base our production on a renewable raw material that can later be recycled either in material or energy form,” Löfgren concludes. “Our process meets a high environmental standard and our paperboard is an excellent fit in a society which is taking step after step towards greater sustainability.”