A competitive quartet of high yield pulp grades

​Metsä Board mills in Joutseno and Kaskinen, Finland, are leading specialists in manufacturing high yield pulp grades.

TEXT: SAMI J. ANTEROINEN PHOTO BY MARKUS SOMMERS

 The broad portfolio of Botnia High Yield pulps made at the Joutseno and Kaskinen production plants is quite unique in the industry, with several grades facilitating an ideal choice of pulp type for most paper products. The core operation is Kaskinen Pulp Mill, a modern chemither-momechanical plant that makes high yield pulps not only for use in Metsä Group mills, but also especially for market pulp customers outside the Group.

According to Anne Uusitalo, VP, Pulp Sales & Supply Co-ordination, Kaskinen Pulp Mill has successfully customised its high yield pulp grades for specific types of end use by combining the latest technology and diversification with a wide range of fibre sources to give each grade its own special characteristics.

Specialised from the outset

One key advantage is that the Kaskinen plant has been accumulating expertise by supplying Metsä Group mills ever since it first came on stream in 2005. This provided experience in several types of end use from the very outset, encompassing graphic papers, tissue, board and various specialty products.

Many of the Group's current technical specialists have also worked in paper and board manufacturing, thereby learning product requirements from the customer's point of view and enabling the Group to apply this experience in R&D.

The four high yield pulp grades in the product portfolio are 130STR (Strong), 230HB (High Bulk), 325HT (High Tensile) and 440SHB (Super High Bulk).

Introducing Botnia High Yield pulps

130STR provides definite added value for manufacturers of printing and writing paper who are seeking high strength mechanical pulp with excellent opacity and good bulk. This solid option for magazine paper producers improves paper machine runnability while maintaining good opacity and increasing the bulk of base paper. 130 STR is also an ideal grade for making thin papers that satisfy high strength requirements in the specialty paper segment.

Mainly used in coated and uncoated fine papers, 230HB combines high bulk and tensile strength for great results. This grade achieves added value economically by enabling use of a higher proportion of filler, thereby substantially reducing total raw material costs.

325HT is a high tensile grade that enables substitution of chemical pulp in paper. It is used especially in tissue papers, where its real benefit is a high tensile strength that outperforms most unrefined hardwood pulps. 325 HT is also widely used in specialty papers, thanks to its optical and strength properties.

The 440SHB grade was developed in particular for carton board, and seeks to improve bulk in the final product. The principal added value of this product for the customer is a substantial increase in the thickness, and thus also the stiffness of the end product. 440 SHB is also commonly used in book papers where thickness and good bulk are appreciated.

Knowing your product

The broad Botnia High Yield range owes a great deal to Metsä Group technological expertise. Having previously served as a production engineer at Kaskinen, Technical Customer Service

Manager Kim Sjöholm knows these products inside out:

"Knowing your product and being familiar with the user experience are essential for truly supporting the customer's business," Sjöholm says. This experience makes it so much easier to build a solid foundation for future collaboration with the customer.

"We pride ourselves on delivering the right product for the right customer," he says, adding that Metsä Group is also renowned for rapid response times, collecting user feedback and making adjustments quickly as pulp grades evolve.

Adding value

According to Bertrand Lamarque, Metsä Fibre Sales Director for South Europe, customers nowadays understand the importance of quality and value for money, instead of merely focusing on basic raw material prices. They are willing to consider all parameters, instead of merely seizing the apparently cheapest pulp option.

Customers can use Botnia High Yield pulps together with the Group's unique technical expertise and tools to optimise pulp combinations and recipes very effectively. For example, they may choose to save overall production costs by increasing the proportion of less costly fillers and reducing the amount of pulp in a recipe.

Competitiveness arises as a combination of product, technical service and economic value, forming a key business factor when coupled with top quality. The Kaskinen product portfolio enables Metsä Group customers to find the "optimal mix" that is the essence of added value.

 

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