Coming soon: ECF pulp at Värö
Trials of the new ECF bleaching line at Värö are well underway with customers expected to receive their first ECF-trials from Södra by the second half of 2017.
Södra Cell already offers ECF grades from its other mills, but until now Värö has only produced TCF pulps. That is about to change with the installation of state-of-the-art ECF bleaching equipment.
“There are several reasons for introducing ECF bleaching at Värö”, commented Marcus Hellberg, Marketing Director. “We were pioneers of TCF bleaching in the 1980s when TCF was seen to be a better choice environmentally. But today, there is no discernible environment benefit between TCF and ECF bleaching and the market for TCF pulp has declined: Some 95% of our European customers now use ECF pulps and this is basically us adapting to current market conditions. For those seeking to change grades, it is easier to replace like with like – so it will usually be easier for an ECF customer to switch to another ECF grade. By offering the choice of both ECF and TCF, we can now make it even easier for customers to make changes to their pulp mix and replace an existing ECF grade with a Södra ECF pulp, should they want to.”
“In addition, we will be seeking to increase our market share in Asia as a result of the expanded production capacity at Värö. ECF pulps are often the preferred choice for the Asian tissue segment since fluorescence is a subject of debate in the region. In addition, ECF grades tend not to yellow over time, a further consideration when the pulp is being transported long distances or stored for a long time, especially in warmer climates. Some sectors, such as labels, also prefer the slightly higher dimensional stability and tear that ECF grades can impart.”
Back on track
As well as trialing the new ECF grades, the team at Värö are continuing their work of optimising the new equipment. “We are currently producing pulp of the same standard that we had before the rebuild, says Hellberg, “but we know the potential we have here and so the fine tuning continues and will probably continue for years to come - we want to show our customers what the new mill can really do. And volume wise we are right on schedule.”
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