Project Horse Sappi Lanaken mill

Project Horse Sappi

In 2019, Project Horse converted Lanaken’s PM8 into a world-class machine for coated fine papers in the light grammage ranges (from 70 to 115 g/m2), thus securing its future. In addition to a rebuild needed to improve quality, a great deal of attention was paid to reducing primary energy consumption, thus shrinking Sappi’s CO2 footprint. All this is in line with Sappi Europe’s strategic target to reduce the footprint by 25% by 2025.

Project Evaluation

For PM8 to have a future, state-of-the-art equipment had to be implemented in various positions. A new shoe press was installed, next to a new suction roll in the wire section (a Valmet FormMaster), and an online calendar. Where possible, frequency drives were implemented, and great attention was paid to relighting. A completely new concept of the drying application in the coating section resulted in great energy savings.

Project Purpose

PM8 was shut down completely during April/May in 2019; by mid-June it was already producing good quality paper. The major investment was showing good results not only in new quality but also in reduced energy usage. The new elements made it possible to reduce primary energy consumption by 8.4%, continuing our long-time efforts in various voluntary agreements with the Flemish Government (Benchmarking Covenant in the past, and EBO at present).

Eric Raedts

director of the Sappi Lanaken mill

“Since we got the PM8 in 1986, it has been a producer of
mechanical coated paper,” Eric Raedts explains. “So we
are converting from a mechanical coated paper machine
to a low-grammage wood-free coated paper machine,
which can produce sheets at a bulky quality level, but at
the same grammage.”

During the shutdown, those who work with the PM8
have been kept busy. Eric says, “80 people are normally
involved in PM8. For the first four weeks of the shutdown,
they had intensive training from our own engineers, and
for the last four weeks they got to see how PM8 was
being rebuilt and test out their training ahead of the start
-up of the machine.” Since 12 June 2019, PM8 has been
able to produce saleable paper again. He concludes:
“A major milestone has been reached.”

Main features:

CO2 Emissions saved (tCO2)
23,500 tCO2/year

130,000 k€, of which more than 29,000 k€ for energy savings

Valmet as main supplier for the rebuild