Iggesund Converts Energy Savings to Income


Known for making Incada premium folding boxboard, powered by steam and power solely from its biofuel boiler since 2013, Iggesund Workington also has a passion for reducing energy consumption.

Every time we use less energy in the mill, we have more to sell onto the UK national grid,” says Ian Black, head of pulp and power. “That’s why any project that employs energy savings to pay for itself in one year or less is taken very seriously. Large, medium, small… all reductions are highly valued. With every energy saving success, we are more profitable, and sustainability has another win.”

Iggesund Workington’s £108 million (US$145 million) investment in biomass energy makes the mill completely self-reliant for energy needs, eliminating the use of fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions to almost zero. Coming on-stream in 2013, the biofuel initiative was notable not only for its size, but for its crowning achievement of eliminating fossil fuels from production. Iggesund Workington cut carbon emissions equal to 65,000 average-sized passenger vehicles taken off the highways each year.

In the spring of 2016, a major investment in a new press section, combined with other measures, increased overall energy efficiency. “We’re constantly looking for ways to become more efficient and save on the resources we use,” comments Bengt Löfroth, head of strategic development at Iggesund Workington.


Another investment, focused on efficiency of pulp screening, has been ongoing over the past eight years. While this investment is modest by comparison, the impact is notable.

Back in 2008, a team led by Iggesund Workington’s Rolf Moring, development engineer, conducted a comprehensive study of fiber throughout the entire pulp and paper process, using the SimAudit tool from Aikawa Fiber Technologies (AFT). Objectives included energy savings in pulp screening based on a new rotor design, and debottlenecking production. The team saw the potential to increase capacity from 400 tpd by 10 percent or more.

In fact, final results went beyond the projected energy savings of 20 percent for primary pulp screening. Over the course of the project, the team first hit 480 tpd and then 510 tpd on average.

Employing a novel simulation technology, Moring, supported by the AFT team, explored a new approach to screen rotors, which not only saved energy, but also contributed to consistent quality and flow of fiber, opening the way to considerable gains in output.

Says Moring, “The SimAudit tool showed potential for gains in our ability to produce quality output, as well as sizeable energy savings. Our increase in production and energy savings for the screens was predicted and achieved.”

According to Peter Taylor, representing AFT in the UK, “Much of Iggesund Workington’s optimization resulted in better shive reduction and improved CSF (Canadian Standard Freeness) levels.”


The AFT GHC rotors have now become the de facto standard for screens at the pulp mill. In 2015 a new model, the GHC2, was introduced for secondary screen position.

Geoff Richardson, process development engineer at Iggesund Workington, sought to further reduce energy consumption based upon the new model of the rotors. Once again, lower energy consumption resulted, allowing payback in about one year. The new rotors also helped TMP bulk increase by 2.5 percent.

  “The GHC2 met our energy saving goals, and saves time for operators. Operators comment on the worry-free screening and having more time for other concerns. In the past, they were inclined to spend months just learning how they worked and what to do in case of problems,” says Richardson. “Basically, the new rotors allow us to slow down the revolutions inside the screens, yet meet our targets for capacity. Going from 490 down to 440 rpm is a lot. Now consuming 72 KW per hour, compared with 100KW, is a major plus. We have also streamlined to 0.20 slots for all of the AFT MacroFlow screen baskets, contributing to smooth runnability. The rotors ‘did what they said on the tin,’ as we say in Cumbria.”

Richardson lights up when discussing Iggesund’s commitment to green energy via bio-fuel and the team’s motivation to saving energy in every possible way. “When the biofuel plant feeds energy to the UK grid, we are all excited. We are contributing to the long-term sustainability of our own backyard, where farms and tourism are everywhere. Being a good neighbor is natural for us at the mill.”

Martin Koepenick is president of Innova and can be reached at [email protected].


Geoff Richardson near a display showing Incada champagne packaging.

The Iggesund Workington mill, nestled on the Solway estuary just beside England’s fabled Lake District, produces Incada high-performance paperboard. Sought after by brand owners for consumer packaging and graphical products, Incada is multilayered Folding Box Board (FBB). Incada is made with virgin fiber of known and traceable origin, and all steam and power comes from Iggesund’s own bioenergy plant. The integrated pulp and paper mill is considered a sustainability model, with a complete circle of responsibility that includes the forest, mill operations, customers, and end consumers.

Incada is used for various graphical applications, such as picture postcards, brochures and book covers, and also for the packaging of cosmetics, health care items, confectionery, champagne, pharmaceuticals and more.

Headquartered in Sweden, Iggesund Paperboard is part of the forest industry group Holmen.

Geoff Richardson (left), process development engineer at Iggesund Workington, and Ian Black, head of pulp and power. “Every time we use less energy in the mill, we have more to sell onto the UK national grid,” says Black.

Operators have more time due to worry-free primary and secondary pulp screening performance.

The integrated pulp and paper mill is considered a sustainability model. The mill is located in the UK’s Lake District, beside the sea.

Peter Taylor of AFT (left) and Geoff Richardson next to the P1 primary screen in the pulp mill, which is using the newest model of AFT’s GHC rotor.

We are contributing to the long-term sustainability of our own backyard,” says Geoff Richardson. “Being a good neighbor is natural for us at the mill.”