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Preparations for the start-up of Metsä Fibre's next-generation bioproduct mill are currently under way in Äänekoski, Finland. Start-up is scheduled for late summer. In 2015 Metso was selected as the main supplier of the bioproduct mill's valve solutions. Metsä Fibre and Metso have worked in close collaboration to select the technically and economically optimal valve solutions to keep all the mill's processes operating reliably. Metso has supplied the customer with about 3,000 valves and related devices and has also signed agreements on comprehensive maintenance and spare parts services. The total order is one of Metso's largest valve orders in Finland.
"Metso not only has strong expertise in selecting valve solutions to meet the requirements of pulp mill processes, it also has a wide product selection as well as tried and true, reliable solutions for flow control," says Timo Merikallio, Project Director, Bioproduct Mill Project, Metsä Fibre.
Excellence in the operational reliability of valves, actuators, and positioners is a key factor in ensuring trouble-free production. "The collaboration between the equipment and process suppliers must be seamless; the operating experiences of the parties have been utilized during technical specifications. In terms of the process control needs, the valves must operate in the optimal operating range so that we can achieve the desired production efficiency targets," Merikallio emphasizes.
Under the latest order signed with Metsä Fibre for spare parts services, spare parts inventory for all essential valves will be available in the mill's warehouse. The bioproduct mill service agreement is appended to the service agreement between Metso and Metsä Fibre.
"To ensure cost-efficient spare parts and maintenance service solutions, for us it is very important that the spare parts and maintenance services and the availability of a maintenance expert are secured. In the preparation for annual outages, we also intend to utilize the valve manufacturer's experience in the planning of correctly-timed maintenance of valves and the related devices," Merikallio notes.
The valve orders have been booked in the Metso's orders received starting from the fourth quarter of 2015 with subsequent quarterly bookings in 2016. The order for the spare parts service has been booked in the orders received during the first quarter of 2017.
"Reliable flow control solutions can contribute to the operational reliability of production, a reduction in water consumption, energy efficiency, and minimized emissions. Valves selected specifically for each process increase the new mill's efficiency and achieve business advantages. We are proud that we have been able to participate in building the next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski," notes Mika Sjöholm, Vice President, Valves business line, Metso Flow Control business area.
Metso has supplied the new mill with Neles® ball valves, segment and butterfly valves for on-off and control applications and Neldisc® butterfly valves for manual on-off duty. The control valves are equipped with Neles® ND9000 series valve controllers, which have the capability for advanced performance follow-up and also enable predictive maintenance planning activities.
Metso is also ensuring the correct timing of future maintenance needs of the mill's valve installations by utilizing digital valve controller properties and product information management.
Metsä Fibre's, which belongs to Metsä Group, new bioproduct mill is the largest investment in Finnish forest industry history, with total value of EUR 1.2 billion. Upon completion, the new mill will be the world's first next-generation bioproduct mill. Pulp production at the Äänekoski mill in central Finland will increase to 1.3 million tons from the current approx. 0.5 million tons per year. In addition to high-quality pulp, it will produce a broad range of other bioproducts, such as tall oil, turpentine, bioelectricity and wood fuel. The bioproduct portfolio is expanding in the future.
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