SCA inaugurates new facility in Obbola paper mill, which now has world's largest kraftliner machine, increasing kraftliner capacity to 725,000 tons/year; SEK 7.5B project included work environment improvements, recycled fiber line, new lime kiln

Sample article from our Pulp & Paper Industry

September 20, 2023 (press release) –

SCA's new facility in Obbola, outside Umeå, has now been inaugurated. This means that the paper mill has the world's largest machine for kraftliner and with it a significantly increased capacity to produce climate-smart packaging material.

“This is very good for SCA’s and Obbola's competitiveness and gives us a better ability to deliver in a market that needs to grow as fossil packaging materials are phased out,” says Gustaf Nygren, Mill manager at SCA Obbola.

Capacity for kraftliner production is increasing, from 450,000 tons to 725,000 tons annually. The most visible change at the facility is the addition of the world's largest machine, supplied by German Voith, for the production of kraftliner. The machine is 250 meters long and is estimated to weigh around 11,000 tonnes.

Mill manager Gustaf Nygren and Product manager Susanne Rutqvist on stage during the inauguration.

As part of the project, which entailed an investment of approximately SEK 7.5 billion, work environment improvements, a high-capacity recycled fiber line and a completely new lime kiln are also included.

The recycled fiber line enables the industry in Obbola to receive and process 1,700 tons of recycled fiber every day, and the lime kiln means that biofuels can be used instead of oil. The latter reduces the use of oil by 8,000 cubic meters per year and contributes to a saving of 20,000 tonnes in emissions of fossil carbon dioxide.

 “Obbola is now reaching a level where the industrial processes are basically fossil-free. The fact that we also get a proper capacity to recycle fibers and create even more climate-smart material is good for both our business and for the conversion of other industries' packaging,” says Gustaf Nygren.

Gustaf Nygren, Mill manager at Obbola paper mill.

“The investment is good for our existing customers, but also for completely new ones. We see that more and more customers are focusing on sustainability and then the combination of renewable raw materials, resource efficiency in recycling fiber and fossil-friendly manufacturing processes is attractive,” says Mikael Frölander, marketing and sales director for SCA Containerboard.

The opening of Obbola's new facility began at lunchtime on Wednesday and included, among other things, a speech by SCA's president and CEO, Ulf Larsson, and a formal opening ceremony with the Governor of Västerbotten, Helene Hellmark Knutsson. As part of the stage program, two of SCA's experts in the kraftliner area also participated, Susanne Rutqvist who is Product manager for Containerboard and Gustaf Nygren, Mill manager.

In connection with the opening, the guests had the opportunity to see the new facility and take a closer look at the new machines and premises, as well as get answers to questions from SCA's staff at the facility.

Per Strand has been project director for Expansion Obbola and emphasizes that one of the success factors in the work has been a very close collaboration with factory management, market and suppliers.

“There is a lot of teamwork behind this and overall we are incredibly satisfied and proud of how the project went and how our industry now looks. The important work of tuning and ramping up to full capacity is now underway,” says Per Strand.

Picture above: The new paper machine at Obbola paper mill.

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Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
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