Metsä Board’s folding boxboard capacity expansion at its Husum mill in Sweden is reaching its final phases before start-up. Once the expansion is completed, the mill’s BM1 folding boxboard machine will be delivering 600,000 tonnes of premium lightweight folding boxboard every year to consumer packaging and food service end uses all around the world. The extended BM1 is expected to start up during the second half of 2023 and to reach full capacity by the end of 2025, but the machine extension is only part of this impressive project. “The most important outcome of this project for our customers will be the increased availability of sustainable, lightweight products that help reduce packaging carbon footprint,” says Jonas Adler, Product Manager for Folding Boxboard at Husum. “BM1 produces MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright, MetsäBoard Natural FBB, MetsäBoard Pro FSB Cup and MetsäBoard Natural FSB Cup products. Nothing will change in the recipes of these popular and trusted products, it’s just that there will be more available and they’ll be produced in an even more consistent, predictable and sustainable manner,” he highlights.
Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, announced in May 2022 that it will explore possibilities to increase folding boxboard capacity in Finland or Sweden in order to support its customers’ growth and to strengthen its service capability. As result of the study, the company will start pre-engineering for a new folding boxboard mill with an annual capacity of approximately 800,000 tonnes at the Kaskinen mill site in Finland. The pre-engineering phase will include technical design, design of infrastructure and logistics solutions and tendering for the main equipment. As part of the pre-engineering, an environmental impact assessment and an environmental permit process will be launched. The company estimates that a possible investment decision could be made in 2024 at the earliest.
The pre-engineering for the new folding boxboard mill is based on fossil-free production and world-class resource and production efficiency. Thanks to the best available technology, the consumption of raw materials, energy and water per tonne of folding boxboard produced would be significantly lower when compared with the existing mills. The product concept would benefit from Metsä Board’s long-term development work in the production of premium lightweight paperboards.
Metsä Group is responsible for Metsä Board’s wood procurement. Metsä Board produces pulps used in the paperboard production, or buys them from the associate company Metsä Fibre, the world’s leading producer of high-quality softwood market pulp. Metsä Fibre is also part of Metsä Group.
Metsä Board is Europe’s largest producer of folding boxboard and white kraftliners. “The investment, when decided, is in line with Metsä Board’s strategy to grow in fibre-based materials and renew our industrial operations. Our ambition is to have the world’s most resource-efficient mill, cutting-edge competitiveness and a product concept that enables carbon footprint reduction. Demand for packaging made from renewable raw materials and replacing plastic will continue to grow. We want to meet this demand with more sustainable packaging solutions that promote the circular economy,” says Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio.