Whakatane paperboard mill in New Zealand taps Bellmer as main equipment manufacturer for major rebuild of BM 3, with start-up in July 2023; project will increase production capacity by 60,000 t/year to over 200,000 t/year, improve folding boxboard quality

Sample article from our Pulp & Paper Industry

September 6, 2022 (press release) –

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Whakatane Mill Limited, New Zealand’s’ only Paperboard mill located on the North Island, have selected Bellmer as the Main Equipment Manufacturer for a major rebuild of the board machine #3. Both teams virtually “shook-hands” at the end of January 2022. The whole project sales phase was executed virtually due to travel restrictions. However, the team spirit was exceptional and both parties trust on the success of the rebuild project. This project demonstrates Bellmer´s opportunity to break into a new market, on the other side of the world: New Zealand.
Whakatane is located in the Bay of Plenty region. The paperboard mill was founded in 1939. The ownership history has been diverse – from NZ Forest Products in the early days, to Carter Holt Harvey and Rank Group, SIG Combibloc and now the Smurfit Consortium. In total the mill employs 170 personnel and produces 150,000 tons of paperboard annually on a 24hr/day, 7 days a week basis.



With the rebuild of the board machine 3 the major goal is to increase the production capacity of net paper by 60.000 t/year up to over 200.000t/a. Furthermore, with the new equipment there will be improved folding boxboard quality with more bulk and improved smoothness.
The rebuild includes the following Bellmer equipment:

Beginning with the press rebuild there will be a new TurboPress (Shoe Press) with a press load of 800 kN/m for optimal dry content. Furthermore, there will be a major pre- and post- dryer section modification with new slalom groups, a relocation of drying cylinders and threading solutions through the TurboFeeder. Additionally, the new TurboFilmSizer will allow coating of 2,5-3,5 g/m per side to ensure surface properties. Here also the starch preparation system will be upgraded. To complete the rebuild also two TurboPulpers for the Press as well as for the Sizer will be installed.
Timeline: the shutdown will take place in June 2023 and start up is planned in July 2023.

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Dan Rivard
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