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Substantial reduction in oil consumption

At Nordic Paper’s plant in Säffle there has been a real reduction in oil consumption by a full 70 percent in only one year. While there have been technical improvements to the boiler that supplies the paper machinery with steam, the engagement of the operators in reducing the climate footprint – which at the same time reduces costs – has been a more significant factor.

– Our goal was to reduce consumption from 167 cubic metres of oil per month to 125, but we are now averaging 50, says Stefan Åbom, plant manager in Säffle.

The steam boiler is fired with biofuels: wood chips and briquettes. The oil is there as a last resort if for any reason there is some kind of fault or when the boiler needs to be cleaned. The high quality of Nordic Paper’s world-leading greaseproof paper demands a consistent drying process and therefore a constant supply of steam is needed.

The significant reduction in oil consumption is a result of teamwork and technical improvements. In technical terms, the unit where the briquettes are ground into powder has been sealed and provided with automatic lubrication and vibration monitoring. The steam plant operators can monitor the boiler better and the boiler can also go longer between cleanings. This in itself reduces the need to use oil.

– We also refurbished the electric boiler and there is a steam accumulator that we use when we cannot use wood chips and briquettes. We use oil as a last resort, says Morgan Schützer, a technician on the fibre line.

– The technical improvements have helped, but it’s the way the employees have engaged with it that is more significant. Half an hour with Tomas Gustén, who is head of raw materials at Nordic Paper, literally gave us an energy kick. He explained how electricity supply and electricity prices are related, and opened all our eyes to how we ourselves can have an impact, both at work and at home, says Magnus Nyman, line manager responsible for improvements.

The 12 employees at the steam plant monitor and continually optimise the equipment to avoid oil consumption. Morgan Schützer explains that finding new solutions and testing out how to make the boiler even more efficient is a continual focus for the operators. He believes the situation in the world is also affecting engagement.

– Knowledge about electricity consumption, costs and the need for fossil-free electricity in order to reduce the climate footprint has also contributed to the high level of engagement, says Magnus Nyman.