Valmet to rebuild power boilers at Koehler Paper's Oberkirch and Kehl paper mills in Germany to increase renewable energy production; in Kehl, Valmet will supply a fuel upgrade on a CFB boiler, and Oberkirch's coal-fired boiler to be converted to biomass

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November 9, 2022 (press release) –

Valmet will rebuild Koehler Paper’s power boilers at its Oberkirch and Kehl paper mill sites in Germany to increase the production of sustainable energy from renewable sources.

The orders were included in Valmet’s orders received of the third quarter 2022. The value of the orders will not be disclosed. The joint value of such rebuilds and supply scopes is typically around EUR 20 million.

In Oberkirch, Valmet will convert an existing circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler from combusting coal to biomass. The delivery will be taken over by Koehler in October 2024. In Kehl, Valmet will supply a fuel upgrade on a CFB boiler, and this delivery will be taken over by the customer in September 2023. With the modification, new fuels – mainly sludges – will be added to the existing biomass fuel portfolio.

“By switching from bituminous coal to biomass as the primary fuel for our location in Oberkirch, we will be cutting more than 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. By converting away from fossil fuels, Koehler is proactively playing its part in reducing global warming,” says Dr. Stefan Karrer, COO, Koehler Group.

“Valmet is serving customers with solutions for decarbonization and sustainable energy production, and we are happy to share the journey toward a carbon neutral future with Koehler Paper,” says Aleksi Salmirinne, Vice President, Energy business unit, Pulp and Energy business line, Valmet.

The combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Oberkirch produces approximately 100,000 MWh of electric power and 330,000 metric tonnes of steam per year for paper production. The Kehl CFB boiler has a 44 MW thermal capacity, and the plant power generation capacity is 9 MW.

Information about Valmet’s delivery

Valmet's delivery scope to the Oberkirch plant includes boiler modifications and external equipment for converting the coal-fired CFB boiler for biomass; a new biomass feeding system, new burners for renewable fuel, additional heating surfaces, ash removal improvement, a selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) system and additive feeding for the baghouse filter.

At the Kehl CHP plant, Valmet will modify the existing CFB boiler and deliver equipment to add paper sludge and sewage sludge to the fuel portfolio of the plant. Sludge feeding systems, bottom and fly ash system upgrades, and modifications to superheaters will be supplied for the Kehl boiler.

About Koehler Paper

The Koehler Group, Koehler Paper being part of it, was founded in 1807 and has been family-run to this day. The Group’s core area of business is the development and production of high-quality specialty paper, including thermal paper, playing cardboard, drink coasters, fine paper, carbonless paper, recycled paper, decor paper, wood pulp board, sublimation paper, and, since 2019, innovative specialty paper for the packaging industry, too. In Germany the Koehler Group with its around 2,500 employees has five production sites, and three more in the USA. The Group operates at an international level, with an export ratio of 70 percent in 2021 and annual revenue of about one billion euros.

As an energy-intensive enterprise, Koehler’s unit Koehler Renewable Energy invests in renewable energy projects such as wind energy, hydroelectric power, photovoltaics, and biomass. The Koehler Group has committed itself to producing more energy from renewable sources than is required for paper production by 2030.

Corporate Communications

For further information, please contact:
Aleksi Salmirinne, Vice President, Energy business unit, Pulp and Energy business line, Valmet, tel. +358 40 715 5714 

Valmet is a leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. With our automation systems and flow control solutions we serve an even wider base of process industries. Our 17,500 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers’ performance forward – every day.

The company has over 220 years of industrial history and a strong track record in continuous improvement and renewal. In 2022, a major milestone was achieved when the flow control company Neles was merged into Valmet. The combined company’s net sales in 2021 were approximately EUR 4.5 billion based on the respective company figures.

Valmet’s shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki and the head office is in Espoo, Finland. 



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