David Hathorn, Group CEO of Mondi, comments, "We are proud to announce the successful completion of the STEP project. The project serves as a prime example of Mondi's strategic approach to invest in assets which will yield great benefits for our customers allowing us to better service the Russian domestic market and export markets in particular."
The main targets of the investment were to replace obsolete technologies, enhance mill safety, employ additional environmental measures and increase the quality and competitiveness of Mondi's products.
Peter J. Oswald, CEO Mondi Europe & International, comments on the project's success: "We are proud to be a part of the new economic rise of Russia and our contribution to Russia's modernisation with state-of-the-art technology and diversification into value added products. We first presented this project to the Russian government on 6, April 2006. Today, four and a half years later, it has been successfully completed on schedule."
The investment has enabled Mondi to increase its product quality and output for containerboard, uncoated woodfree and newsprint paper. The wood yard has the capacity to debark and chip four million cubic meters of soft and hardwood logs annually - an increase of 25% - with a projected fibre production of 900 thousand tonnes. Production of board, paper and market pulp is expected to increase by more than 20% to over a million tonnes per year.
Some of the most impressive upgrades are the installation of a new lime kiln with daily burnt lime production of up to 700 tonnes, a new recovery boiler that burns 3,560 tonnes of dry solids per day and a 100MW turbo generator. The mill has also been fitted with modern equipment of the highest possible environmental standards that will reduce daily water consumption by 40% to 206,000m³, trap 99.9% of dust and odorous gases arising from the burning process.
"The investment is a notable industry achievement," says Gerhard Kornfeld, Managing Director of Mondi Syktyvkar. "STEP has modernised and increased production in nearly all areas of the production chain. For example, the installation of modern equipment for the processes of chip reception, production and transportation has dramatically increased the mill output."
The STEP project also proved to be a model of industrial safety. Its safety record is the best ever achieved in the history of the Russian paper industry. At the peak of the project, around 2,000 employees were involved. In total, about 300 partners and mainly local contractors worked on the project.