Helsinki-based biofore company UPM has opened a state-of-the-art Materials Recovery Facility in Shotton, designed to achieve the highest recovery rates in the UK of 99 per cent. “Today, the Finnish forest industry is a prime example of an industry utilizing and actively developing cleaner processes” said Pekka Huhtaniemi, Ambassador of Finland to the UK, at the official opening at UPM’s Shotton paper mill.
The new facility, supported by a £1.7m investment by the Welsh Government, has the capacity to sort 270,000 of comingled material and it is capable of sorting six types of plastic as well as metals, paper and glass. In addition to a unique design, the facility has the latest sorting and screening equipment in the market. At full operation the facility will employ 160 persons in addition to the 405 staff working for UPM Shotton site which produces 100% recycled fibre newsprint. UPM is the largest manufacturer of 100% recycled newsprint in the UK, recycling 640,000 tonnes.
Speaking at the inauguration of the facility the Finnish Ambassador Pekka Huhtaniemi said: “UPM has created a fantastic facility here on their Shotton site. Not only is the technology impressive but also the motivated workforce. In addition to their renewable energy power plant, UPM Shotton is a good example of Cleantech thinking.”
He continued: “As UPM has its headquarters in Helsinki, please allow me to focus briefly on Finland’s processes that utilize forest industry as an example of the development of clean technologies. The Finnish economy is largely built around natural raw materials, such as forest, water and minerals.”
“As a consequence, the Finns have always appreciated such natural resources and assumed the highest responsibility for these national assets. We in Finland, however, lack many other significant sources of raw materials within our borders, particularly gas and oil. In order to remain competitive, our industry has had to carve its own path in energy production and efficient industrial processes.”
“Today, the Finnish forest industry is a prime example of an industry utilizing and actively developing cleaner processes. Out of 146 countries covered by the global environmental sustainability indexes of the World Economic Forum, Finland has been ranked as the leading country five times since the year 2000.”
“Forest industry processes form the basis for most of our country’s innovative and efficient industrial processes including, among others, energy efficiency, combined heat and power plants, district heating, biomass utilization and water recycling. To give you an example, over the past 10 years the Finnish forest industry has cut electricity consumption by almost 20 per cent, and water consumption by 40 per cent per paper tonne produced domestically.”
Ambassador said: “The same 10-year period has seen the forest industry reduce its CO2 emissions by almost 50 per cent, and secure significant savings in energy consumption and wastewater purification costs. Traditional industries keep a keen eye on cleantech for cost- and eco-effective solutions. This has the effect of providing opportunities for innovation and here, once again, the forest industry is at the forefront.”
“The achievements I have mentioned are, naturally, not limited to forest mills in Finland. They also extend to mills abroad, including this one at Shotton. In fact, the UPM Shotton Mill is an excellent example of how integrated processes enable UPM to maximise reuse of by-products throughout the production processes. Efficient use is made not only of the mill’s own by-products, but of waste materials collected from all parts of the UK.”
He concluded: “Cleantech solutions developed in the forest industry are also the source of inspiration for hundreds of innovative start-up, small and medium-sized companies. For example, Finland today has over 2,000 cleantech companies, with know-how often based on practices developed around energy efficiency, renewable energy and bioenergy, as well as optimization of the entire waste management chain.”
Photos courtesy of UPM
“UPM Shotton’s Materials Recovery Facility officially inaugurated”